Daily Archives: February 25, 2013

Archives February 25, 2013 posted by

Cyprus expects a fresh start, not more of the same

 

We have a new President.

The winners celebrated late into the night – and it would be churlish to deny them their pleasure – apparently Presidential elections in Cyprus are on a par with football matches: they demand that the ‘winners’ parade their victory with car horns blaring and flags waving (even though, unfortunately, most of those flags last night belonged to another country).

The dust has, I hope, now settled. The new Administration has a mammoth task ahead of it – but it received the mandate from the people because the majority of them believed it was best equipped to deal with the dire situation that Cyprus finds itself in.

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Archives February 25, 2013 posted by

Nicos takes the crown [with video]

 

CYPRUS’ problems are far from over, President-elect Nicos Anastasiades said last night, as he pledged to conclude a bailout agreement as soon as possible in a bid to put the island back on the path of stability and growth.

Speaking to his supporters after cruising to victory in yesterday’s run-off vote, the DISY leader sought to unite Cypriots in the face of adversity.

“The problems we face are neither partisan nor ideological. The challenges and the problems we face affect all of us. That is precisely why we must all focus on dealing and resolving them,” he said.

The 66-year-old lawyer took 57.5 per cent of the vote, 15 points ahead of his anti-austerity AKEL-backed rival Stavros Malas.

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Our view: Anastasiades must show the courage of the Annan days now he is president

 

PRESIDENT-ELECT Nicos Anastasiades has come a long way since the days of the 2004 referendum when he became a political pariah, attacked and abused by all the political parties and the government of the day because he had dared to take a clear stand in favour of the Annan plan. He could have taken the easy option, of going with the majority of the population and avoiding the high political cost of his decision. 

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‘I will be Nicos not president’

THOUSANDS of jubilant supporters yesterday celebrated the victory of DISY chief Nicos Anastasiades in the presidential elections’ run-off against AKEL-backed Stavros Malas.

Supporters of the 66-year-old leader gathered before the official results were announced outside both DISY and the campaign headquarters. 

“After five years of an AKEL government we needed a change, and it should have come last week,” Andreas, a 30-year-old car mechanic said outside Anastasiades’ campaign headquarters.

A 16-year-old who was there to celebrate although he was too young to vote  said that Anastasiades was “the best”. 

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AKEL: It’s not really a defeat

THE MOOD may have been sombre at the Stavros Malas campaign headquarters last night but just a few streets away, the AKEL top brass were quietly tickled that the outgoing ruling party survived the global and national economic downturn relatively unscathed. 

Once the first exit polls showed Nicos Anastasiades as the clear winner, the atmosphere among volunteers and supporters at the Malas headquarters became rather bleak.

As the news trickled out that Anastasiades had cemented victory in the second round, one cigarette-smoking, whiskey-drinking supporter railed against TV networks for their biased reporting. 

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Marked presence of invalid votes and abstentions

 

THE HIGH abstention rate, counter-balanced by a high occurrence of invalid votes, were what shaped the result of yesterday’s presidential elections.

The final tally stood at 57.48 per cent for Anastasiades, compared to 42.52 per cent for Malas. In the first vote, the respective numbers had been 45.46 per cent and 26.91 per cent.

The gap between the two contenders was around 18 per cent, almost the same as recorded during the first round, when Nicos Anastasiades had secured 45.46 per cent to Stavros Malas’ 26.91 per cent.

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How Anastasiades victory compares to previous elections

Nicos Anastasiades’ 57.48 per cent victory last night gave him the highest score in a run-off election in the post-1974 era.

The final tally stood at 57.48 per cent for Anastasiades, compared to 42.52 per cent for Stavros Malas.

The elections for the seventh president of the Republic went to a run-off, after Anastasiades failed to secure the required 50 per cent plus one votes on February 17. On February 17 the conservative leader, endorsed by the DISY and DIKO parties, garnered 45.46 per cent, a huge lead over leftist Stavros Malas who received 26.91 per cent. Independent Giorgos Lillikas was eliminated after coming in a close third behind Malas with 24.93 per cent.

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A glimpse at the future cabinet

MICHALIS Sarris is tipped for the hot seat of finance minister in the new DISY-DIKO administration, and is Anastasiades’ top pick for the key portfolio, the Mail is reliably informed.

Sarris, credited with shoring up state finances as economy chief under the government of Tassos Papadopoulos, would face a mountain of a task in finalising negotiations for a bailout as soon as the new government takes office.

But Sarris is thought to have the credentials – as well as Anastasiades’ confidence – to handle the mission.

Informed sources say the choice of Sarris is being objected to by certain “conservative” quarters from within DISY – “the squares”, as the sources put it – because of an incident involving the 66-year-old last year in the occupied north.

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Little time to celebrate as tough decisions must be made

PRESIDENT-ELECT Nicos Anastasiades must navigate a minefield on taking office, juggling Cypriot and foreign interests against a backdrop of an urgently needed bailout.

The 66-year-old veteran politician, who cruised to victory in yesterday’s run-off vote, has often cited his good standing among EU leaders, particularly the European People’s Party.

But now that words must turn into action, his relations with foreign leaders will be put to the test, says economic analyst Stelios Platis.

The new president will have to deal with international creditors who have been making noises over alleged money-laundering and Cyprus’ low corporate tax rate.

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