Cyprus elections: far-right parties are linked to Greek neo-Nazis Cyprus

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A linked far-right party A neo-Nazi golden dawn in Greece no longer exists After widespread dissatisfaction with the corruption scandal dominated Sunday’s new parliamentary elections, support in Cyprus doubled.

The National People’s Front (Elam) received 6.8% of the votes, and for the first time in 45 years, it replaced the Social Democratic Movement (Edek) with a small advantage and became the fourth largest political force in the Greek Cypriot party system on the island.

“The neo-Nazi party is clearly the winner of today’s election and won two more seats in the 56-member House of Representatives,” said Christophoros Christophorou, an analyst who specializes in electoral behavior. “It benefits from the high arrival rate of undocumented immigrants and the exacerbated xenophobic climate of a government that often adopts its own racist statements.”

The easternmost member of the European Union, Cyprus The 27-member group has the highest number of first-time asylum seekers per capita.

As the Greek Cypriots were angry at the revelation of the malfeasance of the highest power echelon, 659 candidates from a record 15 political groups participated in the vote.

“Corruption has led to unprecedented alienation of voters,” Christopher Lu added. “15% of voters will be unrepresented because they voted for a small party that failed to cross the threshold to enter parliament.”

The turnout rate of 66% of voters is also very low, which shows that the disillusionment of mainstream parties will also prevail in many people’s predictions.

Elam’s performance marked a clear victory for a party whose affiliation with the now banned Golden Dawn hardly weakened its appeal to nationalist voters, who were also angry at reports of corruption by elected officials.

Since taking office in 2013, the government of President Nicos Anastasiades has been severely hit by allegations of corruption, mainly related to corruption A controversial cash-for-passport program This helped the coastal city of Limassol renovate and build huge apartment buildings with the sole purpose of attracting investors.

The Greek Cypriots held large-scale demonstrations, condemning corruption and demanding a solution to the division of Cyprus. This is a rare public condemnation that has not been ignored by the Turkish Cypriots in the northern part of the island. The 74-year-old president firmly rejected any allegations of misconduct.

After almost 100% of the votes were counted, Anastasiades’ right-wing Democratic Party (DYSI) received 27.8% of the votes, followed by the left-wing Progressive People’s Party (AKEL), which received 22.3% of the votes; The Democratic Party (Diko) is 11.3%; and Edek is 6.7%. The Democratic Front (DIPA), a group of Dico dissidents, also managed to enter the House of Representatives after winning 6.1% of the vote.

The Green Party, which originally expected performance to improve, won 4.4% of the votes, a 0.4% drop from 2016.

Although Cyprus’ mainstream DYSI and AKEL parties maintain their status as the two largest political groups on the island, Elam’s ability to become an anti-establishment force may make efforts to end the country’s division more difficult.

Nationalists reject any idea of ​​reunifying Cyprus. Since the coup d’état aimed at uniting with Greece prompted the Turkish invasion in 1974, Cyprus has been racially divided—as a two-region, two-ethnic federation, this is Greek Cypriot A long-term position held by the person.

Anastasiades also faced criticism from those who wanted reconciliation, many accusing him of missing the opportunity to reach an agreement when the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinchi, who supported the settlement, took power.Mildly Ousted by hardliners last year Who might use Sunday’s election results to push for a two-state solution.

Nicos Trimikliniotis, a professor of sociology at the University of Nicosia, said that the rise of Elam is a testament to the government’s tolerance for extremists, and the government often needs the party’s support to pass legislation.

“By allowing the neo-Nazi Eelam to operate as a reserve force, the government helped destroy the democratic structure of society and trust in institutions,” he said. “As more and more asylum-seekers arrive in Cyprus, Elam has played a destructive role, turning speech even more to the right and making public discourse more racist and anti-immigration.”

The party is led by Christos Christou, a 40-year-old former bodyguard who once lived in Athens, where he was a member of the Golden Dawn and has a relationship with the now imprisoned leader Nikos Michaloliakos close. However, unlike the mainland Greek groups, His entire leadership was imprisoned After being convicted as a criminal organization last year, Elam was not accused of attacking immigrants or using blind and violent tactics.

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