NewsLocalChristodoulides and Mavroyiannis to face off in runoff election

Christodoulides and Mavroyiannis to face off in runoff election

Former foreign minister Nikos Christodoulides and career diplomat Andreas Mavroyiannis will face-off in Sunday’s runoff election in a bid to become Cyprus’ next president.

According to the official results, frontrunner Christodoulides secured 32.04% of the votes (127,305), while 117,627 people voted for Mavroyiannis who received 29.6% of the votes.

Ruling Disy backed Averof Neophytou came third with 103,755 votes and a percentage of 26.11%.

Christodoulides is the first candidate in the history of the Cypriot democracy who goes through to the runoff election without having the backing of one of the two largest parties, right-wing Disy and left-wing Akel.

Mavroyiannis’s showing defied opinion polls which had shown he would likely trail in third place and would be left out of the runoff. But he had the backing of Akel, which had cranked up the rallying of its supporters in the past month.

“It comes down to Mavroyiannis having the full backing of a party and that Averof (Neophytou) probably didn’t,” Fiona Mullen of Sapienta Economics told Reuters, referring to third-placed Averof Neophytou, leader of the ruling right-wing DISY party. “Its an extraordinary result,” she added.

Neophytou had been publicly endorsed by incumbent President Anastasiades, who by law cannot seek a second five-year term, but his candidacy was overshadowed by Christodoulides, a party member who broke ranks with Disy to run.

Opinion polls had shown Christodoulides gaining roughly one-third of the DISY votes.

The two frontrunners from Sunday’s vote will now have a week to win over voters, after which the victor will have to wrestle with how to break a deadlock in reunification talks on ethnically split Cyprus, as well as with irregular migration, labour disputes, and repairing the country’s image tarnished by corruption scandals.

Voting ended at 6 pm, while the final results were announced around 8:40 pm.

Far right wing Elam leader Christos Christou received 6.04% (24,002) followed by lawyer Achilleas Demetriades with 2.04% (8,124), former University of Cypros rector and leader of New Wave Movement Constantinos Christofides with 1.59% (6,321), lawyer George Colocassides 1.33% (5,284), Alexios Savvides 0.60% (2,393), Charalambos Aristotelous 0.22% (866), Celestina De Petro 0.14% (574), Andronikos Zervides 0.09% (341), Ioulia Hovrina Komninos 0.08% (331), Andreas Efstratiou 0.08% (299) and Loukas Stavrou 0.04% (165).

Of the 561,273 registered voters, a total of 404,403 or 72.05% cast their vote. Abstention reached 27.95% (156,870). Valid ballots were 397,387 or 98.27%, invalid ballots were 5,346 or 1.32% and blank were 1,670 or 0.41%.

The full results are accessible here.

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