Ruling party DISY has held the lead in the South Cyprus elections despite the government imposing the harshest austerity package in Europe to exit the bailout programme. Main opposition left-wing party AKEL sustained the biggest losses in the voting.
DISY 30.69% – 18 MPs (20)*
AKEL 25.67% – 16 MPs (19)
DIKO 14.49% – 9 MPs (9)
EDEK 6.18% – 3 MPs (5)
Citizens Alliance 6.01% – 3 MPs (0)
Solidarity Movement 5.24% – 3 MPs (2)
Greens – Citizens Cooperation 4.81% – 2 MPs (1)
ELAM 3.71% – 2 MP (0)
*Number of MPs elected in 2011 in brackets
Conservative DISY leader Averof Neophytou said the party had managed to stand firm despite an unprecedented political climate infused with abstentions and protest votes.
He said the Anastasiades government had “overturned economic catastrophe” and exited the bailout programme on schedule.
“Abstentions divided the vote…but what the result especially shows is that we are the only governing party in Europe that introduced the toughest bailout programme and we are still the first party,” said Neophytou.
“Today we are facing a House with the highest number of parties, so cooperation is a must because we are faced with some crucial legislative work to push through reforms for economic growth.”
On the huge abstention vote of over 32% Neophytou said: “We need to change our attitude and behaviour to win back trust of the voters.”
Sunday’s general elections in the South also resulted in far-right party ELAM winning two seats in parliament.
The electorate showed its disillusionment with politics with over 30% of voters staying away from the polling booths.
South Cyprus has an executive system of government and the president is elected separately, but the vote on Sunday was seen as a show of support for President Nicos Anastasiades, whose term expires in 2018.
“A lot (of the result) was dissatisfaction of the public with the bigger parties,” political analyst Hubert Faustmann said. “Another reading could be that parliamentary elections in Cyprus are not that important, given the weakness of the Cypriot parliament,” he said, referring to the power given to the executive.
Cyprus Weekly, Cyprus Mail