By Kyriacos Kyriacou-Nicosia
Abstention was the winner in the Cyprus Euroelections, as Chief Returning Officer Constantinos Nicolaides announced Sunday midnight that it stood at 56,03%. As he said, registered voters were 606,916, from which 266,891 went to cast their vote.
Thousands Greek Cypriots from the South government-controlled area and thousands of Turkish Cypriots living in the North Turkish-occupied area, who have the right to vote and are holders of an ID issued by the Republic, participated in the elections. It was the first participation for Turkish Cypriots since Cyprus entered the EU in 2004. The island is divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion. The decision to allow their participation was decided recently by the country’s Council of Ministers.
Vote of confidence to the ruling party
Regarding the Euroelections results, Left – wing AKEL party received 26,98% (69,852 votes), Democratic Party 10,83% or 28,044, right wing ruling DISY 37,75% (97,732), National Popular Front ELAM 2,69% (6,957), Citizens Alliance 6,78% (17,549), Social Democrats Movement EDEK/Environmentalists and Ecologists Movement 7,68% (19,894), DRASY – EYLEM 0,86% (2,220), Animal Party Cyprus 0,88% (2288), Message of Hope 3,83% (9,907), Socialist Party Cyprus 0,11% (278), independent Andreas Efstratiou 0,18%, Theodoulou Theodoulos 0,03%, Ioannou Andreas 0,11%, Kyriakou Kostas (Utopos) 0,13%, Levent Sener 1,05%, Minas Michalis 0,08%, Stavrou Loukas 0,03% and Christoforou Adamos 0,03%.
Six newly-elected MEPSs
After the announcement of the results, Nicolaides declared the six newly-elected Cypriot Members of the European Parliament (MEPs): Eleni Theocharous (re-elected) and Christos Stylianides of ruling right-wing Democratic Rally (DISY) party, Takis Hadjigeorgiou (re-elected) and Neoclis Sylikiotis of left-wing AKEL party, Costas Mavrides of the Democratic Party (DIKO) and Demetris Papadakis of Social Democrats Movement EDEK that cooperated in the elections with the Ecologists-Environmentalists Movement.
The six newly-elected Cypriot Members of the European Parliament pledged to work hard to promote the interests of the people of Cyprus.
MEP Eleni Theocharous pledged that she will always work to promote the interest of the people of Cyprus. She thanked the people for its support and expressed hope that she will be able to respond to the people`s expectations.“We have planned our policies and we will follow them,” she said, noting there is a vary heavy workload ahead.
Re-elected MEP Takis Hadjigeorgiou said that the two AKEL MEPs will work hard to address the concerns of the people of Cyprus.
He made special reference to the Cyprus problem, saying that the MEPs of AKEL will do their utmost at the European Parliament so that a solution of the Cyprus problem is finally achieved.
Neoclis Sylikiotis, who is elected for the first time as MEP of AKEL, expressed satisfaction with the fact that the left parties at the European Parliament have strengthen their percentages, adding that we have to address the neo-liberal policies.
Newly-elected Democratic Rally (DIKO) MEP Costas Mavrides, who comes from the Turkish-occupied town of Kyrenia, assured that he will, along with the other Cypriot MEPs, work hard for freedom so that Greek Cypriot refugees can return to their ancestral homes.
Mavrides also referred to the “unprecedented economic crisis”, and the huge human pain it has caused, noting that “we will struggle with the rest MEPs of Cyprus to improve the situation.”
Newly elected MEP Demetris Papadakis (Social Democrats Movement EDEK) pledged to do his utmost for the benefit of all Cypriots. “The problems of Cyprus will not cease to exist after this election”, he said, and expressed readiness to begin his struggle at the European Parliament.
Newly-elected Democratic Rally MEP Christos Stylianides did not make any statements.
Abstention cause of concern
The high percentage of abstention in the European elections is a major issue that must be the subject of concern and discussion both on the EU level and among the political forces, President of the Republic of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades says in a written statement.
Referring to the result of the elctions, the President expresses satisfaction over the high percentage of confidence that the people of Cyprus showed in the forces that support the government, and assures he will continue to strive for recovery from the financial crisis and the successful handling of the Cyprus problem.
President Anastasiades congratulates the newly-elected MEPs, as well as all the candidates that ran in the elections, and furthermore congratulates all those who worked for smooth and successful elections and the people of Cyprus as a whole.
`However, the high percentage of abstention in the elections for the representatives at the European Parliament is a major issue that must be the subject of serious concern and discussion both on the level of EU leaders and by political forces. Indeed, this issue will be included in the agenda of the European Council during its session tomorrow. It is important to convince the European citizens through proper policies that respond to their needs that Europe and its institutions are on their side, so that they may participate dynamically in European affairs`, the President points out.