Disy MP Stella Kyriakides on Tuesday was elected president of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).
She will be the 30th President of PACE since 1949, the first Cypriot and the third woman to take up the post.
The Cypriot MP was elected during the third round of voting, during the Assembly’s Autumn Session in Strasbourg, with 132 votes.
She beat Emanuelis Zingeris from Lithuania – like Kyriakides, an EPP member – who received 84 votes.
Former PACE president Pedro Agramunt announced his resignation in a letter last Friday, ahead of a motion for his dismissal that had been scheduled for debate at the opening of the plenary session.
Following his resignation, the most senior Vice-President of the Assembly, Sir Roger Gale, automatically become Acting President.
Speaking in Strasbourg after the election, Kyriakides pledged to “work tirelessly and openly against corruption.
“My election comes during extraordinary times for this Assembly that have seen our credibility and integrity questioned and which have led to the often wrong type of publicity for the work done in this Assembly, leading to the questioning of the principles of transparency and integrity of the institutions of the Council of Europe,” Kyriakides said.
“These are challenges and responsibilities for us all. But mostly, for myself as a newly elected President of this Assembly.”
“In the upcoming few months my priority is to bring about calmness, consensus, credibility and unity,” Kyriakides said.
“To work tirelessly and openly against corruption. To raise the bar so that we all follow the same principles and code of ethics. To do this, I will need the support of all political groups, of the Secretary General and the staff of the Council of Europe.”
In a statement, Disy congratulated Kyriakides on her election.
“This is a very important international success, which honours our party and our country. This is the first time our country wins such an important post on the international level,” spokesman Prodromos Prodromou said.
In a tweet, President Nicos Anastasiades also congratulated the new president.
“Stella Kyriakides’ election as president of the CoE’s parliamentary assembly is a great honour for our country – congratulations,” Anastasiades tweeted.