Municipal Elections Show Shift To Conservative Opposition
Municipal elections wrapped up after an uneventful process and results show a shift to the right. Nicosia challenger Constantinos Georgadjis beat incumbent mayor Eleni Mavrou with 57 percent; Larnaca incumbent Andreas Louroutsiatis beat Nikos Cleanthous with 55.5 percent; Limassol incumbent Andreas Christou beat challenger Andreas Kyprianou; and Paphos incumbent Savvas Vergas beat main challenger Feidias Sarikas.
There has been a marked shift towards the main opposition party, with 26 out of the 38 candidates supported by DISY gaining their positions compared to nine candidates supported by AKEL. DISY mayoral candidates succeeded in Nicosia, Larnaca, Strovolos and Lakatamia. These districts make up 79 percent of the total electorate, according to analysts.
In 2006, AKEL held 29.1 percent of the vote, it now holds 28 percent, while conservative party DISY rose to 38 percent from 33.9 percent in 2006; EDEK fell from 8.9 percent to 8 percent; and DIKO fell to 16 percent from 20.3 percent in 2006.
Commenting on the elections, President of the European People's Party Wilfried Martens said via Twitter: "I warmly congratulate Nicos Anastasiades and DISY for the victorious result in the Cyprus municipal elections!"
"I look forward to having an EPP Summit in the second half of 2012 in Cyprus, hosted by Nicos Anastasiades and DISY," said Martens, who heads the largest centre-right party in Europe.
The elections were marked by a relatively high level of abstention of 31 percent compared to 2006 when the abstention rate was 17.4 percent.
Following the deadly explosion at Mari naval base, ruling party AKEL and President Demetris Christofias approval ratings plunged, according to a number of surveys. Other significant problems influencing voters include an economic crisis which has seen unemployment rise to 31,000 persons and general disillusionment with the privileges enjoyed by civil servants.
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