Everyone must work together as of tomorrow to tackle all the problems plaguing the country, President Nicos Anastasiades said on Sunday after being re-elected for a second term.
He was speaking at the Tassos Papadopoulos-Eleftheria stadium in Nicosia where a ceremony was held to officially declare his victory after he secured a comfortable win over his opponent Akel-backed independent candidate Stavros Malas with 55.99 per cent of the vote.
At the brief ceremony Chief Returning Officer Kypros Kyrpianou read out the presidential proclamation decree, issued by the interior minister, and proclaimed Anastasiades as the president.
“Mr Nicos Anastasiades, who, received more than 50 per cent of the overall valid ballots, has been elected president of the Republic,” Kyprianou said.
Anastasiades, with a very emotional First Lady Andri Anastasiades by his side and surrounded by his children, grandchildren and associates, said he was moved and proud for the trust the Cypriot people had showed in him.
The president sent out a message of unity, and that he wants to start with a clean sheet.
“I scratch out everything that has been said during the election campaign period. What’s important is for everyone to work together to tackle the problems the country is facing,” he said.
The people, he said, have given him a strong mandate and he called on all political powers to reunite to fight with him for meritocracy, to clamp down on corruption and achieve a solution to the Cyprus problem.
“We have a lot to do, that is why I insist on unity. After today’s results, we have to understand that it is only through cooperation that we will achieve what we owe to the Cypriot people,” Anastasiades said.
He thanked his 94-year-old mother, saying “it seems her wishes had been heard”.
Anastasiades also thanked everyone who supported him – academics, religious circles and other groups of the wider civil society – but also all Cypriots regardless their political beliefs.
“Thank you, I love you, I owe you the best,” Anastasiades said.
Hundreds of supporters flocked to the stadium holding mostly Greek flags but also some of Cyprus to celebrate Anastasiades’ victory. Present at the ceremony were also ministers, Disy MPs and officials and local government officials.
Health Minister Giorgos Pamboridis said on his arrival to the stadium that he would not pursue a re-appointment at the same office. His cycle at the ministry had been completed, Pamboridis said, and it was time to make way for someone else.
Tight security measures are believed to have been why fewer people attending the ceremony than in previous years. Police had advised people to be at the stadium well ahead of time as there would be thorough security checks. Officers were looking for flares, firecrackers or other dangerous objects, while posters or banners with abusive, racist, or other offensive content were not allowed in the stadium.
After the ceremony, Anastasiades was to head to his election camp headquarters in Limassol where thousands of his supporters had gathered.