Roundup: Anastasiades scores wide victory in Cyprus presidential runoff
NICOSIA, Feb 24, 2013 (Xinhua via COMTEX) --
Cyprus right-wing politician Nicos
Anastasiades will be the next president of the eastern
Mediterranean island following a runoff presidential election on
Anastasiades got 57.48 percent of the vote and his leftist
election rival Stavros Malas got 42.52 percent of vote, according
to final election results.
Abstention in Sunday's election stood at 18.42 percent from the
total 545,493 eligible voters, somewhat higher than abstention in
the first round, but invalid and blank ballot papers went up more
than three times to about 7.4 percent of the votes cast,
reflecting rejection of both candidates by a large section of the
After final elections results were announced, Malas said he
telephoned Anastasiades and congratulated him on his electoral
He said he will support all policies by Anastasiades which he
will consider to be beneficial for the country.
Anastasiades was also congratulated by outgoing President
Demetris Christofias and Antonis Samaras, Prime Minister of
Greece, Cyprus's closest supporter.
Thousands of Anastasiades supporters gathered outside his
Democratic Rally party headquarters to celebrate his electoral
success. Many more thousands will pack the premises of a
basketball field where he will be officially declared as the
president-elect at about 10 p.m. (2000 GMT).
His press spokesman said the next president will address an
invitation to all political forces to come forth and take part in
a national salvation government.
Anastasiades, who was backed by the central Democratic Party,
will officially take office on March 1.
He will be burdened with the nightmarish task running an almost
broke government, following mismanagement of the economy by the
outgoing government of Christofias.
The island's situation was further worsened because of heavy
losses by the island's main banks on account of their holding
large amounts of devalued Greek bonds.
Anastasiades is in favor of quickly concluding a bailout deal
provisionally agreed between Christofias's government and the
troika, namely the European Commission, the European Central Bank
and the International Monetary Fund.
The bailout memorandum is in limbo, pending establishment of
the needs of the banks in recapitalization funds. However a
provisional bailout sum of up to 17.5 billion euros -- equal to
the island's GDP -- which will render the sovereign debt
Anastasiades has said he has made arrangements to obtain what
he called a bridge loan from unspecified sources, to give him a
breathing space of up to two months so he can negotiate a more
favorable deal with international lenders.
A final bailout deal is held up by objections from German
politicians, who are locked in an election campaign for a vote to
be held in the autumn. They are demanding more concessions by
Cyprus, including increasing a 10 percent corporate tax and
submitting to a survey of its anti-money laundering practices.
They express reservations on a Cyprus bailout, claiming that
German taxpayer's money may end up safeguarding fat bank deposits
by Russian plutocrats.
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