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Cyprus

All parties rush to claim victory in local elections

Akel leader Andros Kyprianou said the party's fortunes had been restored

Despite some high-profile defeats in Sunday’s local government elections, all political parties claimed victory a day later, glossing over failures and highlighting points of success, however dubious.

“If we were to title Sunday’s elections, the title would be ‘A very good day for Disy’,” the ruling party’s spokesman Prodromos Prodromou said.

“Across all municipalities, from a pool of 441,000 voters, Disy topped all parties with 37.3 per cent. We are satisfied that the voters trusted and chose the party’s suggestions.”

Akel leader Andros Kyprianou said the party, which had suffered heavy losses in legislative elections earlier this year, is “resurging”, despite its Limassol candidate, incumbent mayor Andreas Christou, also backed by Diko and Edek, falling victim to one of the most spectacular upsets of the day, losing by just nine votes to challenger Nicos Nicolaides.

In a statement on Monday, spokesman Stefanos Stefanou said that, in addition to reversing the declining trend in Akel’s electoral results, the key goal was to strengthen the party’s presence in local government.

“Akel has met both its key goals,” he said.

“In these elections, the party steered clear of extreme views, mud-slinging, and demagoguery. It promoted its vision, its views, and its proposals. This is how we believe politics and parties can regain voters’ trust.”

Diko claimed to have contributed to the election of 17 – out of 39 – mayors and raised its electoral results.

“We are particularly happy for the election of 17 mayors, as well as the increase in Diko’s participation in municipal councils, relative to May’s parliamentary elections,” leader Nicolas Papadopoulos said.

Socialists Edek were perhaps the biggest losers of the election, as not only did they back the wrong horse in Limassol, they also lost to one of their own after Nicolaides, a longtime Edek top official, went rogue after he was deprived of his shot at re-election to parliament so that leader Marinos Sizopoulos could replace him.

“The party’s goal had been to elect at least three mayors,” Sizopoulos said, somewhat arbitrarily as the party elected exactly three mayors.

“Also, to retain the fourth position in presence in municipal councils, and a minimum of 30 municipal council seats. These were achieved in an absolute manner.”

The Citizens’ Alliance censured other parties for boasting the election of various mayors, when nearly every candidate had been fielded under an ‘independent’ banner, but went on to follow suit.

“We express our satisfaction at the fact that most of the choices our district committees made were embraced by society,” deputy spokesman Andreas Apostolou said.

In a similar vein, Solidarity’s leader Eleni Theocharous said parties have no right to claim victory in these elections, because nearly all candidates were independents.

“With regard to municipal councils, we are the fourth-strongest party in Nicosia and Lakatamia,” she said.

“Following our presence in parliament, we are now present in local government.”

The Greens’ vice-president Efi Xanthou said the party managed to elect twice as many municipal councilors as it had in 2011 – from four to eight.

“With regard to the election of mayors, the party dared to contradict the general hypocrisy by fielding two candidacies openly – not supposedly ‘independent’ ones,” she said.

“Efi Xanthou in Aglandjia and Christos Iosifides in Athienou fought the good fight and had a decent showing.”

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