Nationalists make significant progress in Cyprus vote | Election News

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The ruling conservatives became the winners, but failed to obtain an absolute majority, and voters turned to smaller parties.

The far-right ELAM party and a centrist separatist group made great progress in the Cyprus parliamentary elections, because quite a few supporters seem to have turned their backs on the top three parties when voters no longer have illusions about traditional power centers. .

Calculated by 100% of the votes, ELAM won 6.78% of the votes on Sunday-an increase of 3% from the last election in 2016-and defeated the socialist EDEK party by a narrow margin of about 200 votes.

The centrist DIPA-composed of key figures from the center-right DIKO party, which is traditionally the third largest party-received 6.1% of the vote.

The center-right DISY ranked first with 27.77% of votes, 5.4% higher than the second-placed communist AKEL.

However, the political parties lost 2.9% and 3.3% of their support in the last election.

“The results were beyond our expectations,” AKEL Secretary-General Andros Kyprianou said at a party rally. “We respect it, we will double check to reach a conclusion, but we can now say that we did not persuade (our supporters).”

Averof Neofytou, chairman of the Democratic Assembly (DISY), voted in the capital, Nicosia [Christos Avraamides/PIO/AFP]

‘Very big failure’

Analyst Christoforos Christoforou said that the results showed that DISY and AKEL gathered more supporters by persuading them to believe in the benefits of their policies. This is a “very big failure.”

The final call from the DISY leadership to limit the estimated 5% voter loss to 3%.

Christoforou stated that the real winners are ELAM and its strong anti-immigration platform and strong nationalist policies, as well as DIPA, whose top executives are still connected to the center of political power as former ministers and legislators.

He said that a high election threshold of 3.6% means that 15,000 voters who voted for small parties that did not win any seats have no say in Parliament.

Opinion polls in the weeks leading up to the vote indicate that as disappointed voters look for alternatives in smaller parties, the approval ratings of DISY and AKEL will drop significantly.

The election will not affect the operation of the divided Mediterranean island government, because the executive power is in the hands of a separately elected president.

Of the nearly 558,000 eligible voters, approximately 65.73% voted for 56 seats in the Greek Cypriot Parliament. The voter turnout rate was 1% lower than the last poll.

Andros Kiprianu, AKEL general secretary is voting [Andreas Andreou/PIO/AFP]

Key campaign issues include the country’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and the expected economic restart as the country increases its vaccination efforts.

Immigration has always been a problem, as the Cyprus government insists that the limit has been exceeded and no more migrants can be accepted.

The smaller parties called on voters to abandon DISY, saying that DISY is a burden left over by corruption.

An independent investigation into the now non-existent Citizen Investment Program in Cyprus found that the government illegally issued passports to the relatives of thousands of wealthy investors, some of whom have an unknown past.

One Al Jazeera survey Several senior Cypriot officials, politicians, lawyers and real estate developers were found to be involved in the plan, which allows criminals to use the investment-for-citizen program to purchase European passports.



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