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Anastasiades congratulates new Akel leader

ÍÅÏÓ ÃÅÍÉÊÏÓ ÃÑÁÌÌÁÔÅÁÓ ÁÊÅË ÓÔÅÖÁÍÏÓ ÓÔÅÖÁÍÏÕ
File photo: Akel leader Stefanos Stefanou

President Nicos Anastasiades early on Monday congratulated the newly elected secretary-general of Akel Stephanos Stephanou and said he hoped to have a meeting with him soon.

The conversation took place via phone call the day after the election of Akel’s new chief, government spokesman Marios Pelekanos said.

Anastasiades also expressed his desire for close cooperation “in a climate of consensus and good political climate, with absolute respect for existing disagreements” to promote decisions for the benefit of Cyprus and its people.

Earlier in the day, Greek politician and head of the Coalition of the Radical Left – Progressive Alliance (Syriza) in Greece Alexis Tsipras also congratulated Stephanou on his new post, saying he will stand by his side for the “strengthening of the left in Cyprus”.

“The struggles for social justice, the fair and sustainable solution of the Cyprus problem on the basis of UN resolutions are common,” Tsipras said in a tweet.

Stephanou was elected on Sunday by the party’s central committee, which comprises 105 members, who voted between Stephanou and Giorgos Loukaides,

With one absentee and one blank vote, Loukaides received 29 votes or 28.16 per cent support while Stephanou obtained 74 votes or 71.84 per cent.

He replaces Andros Kyprianou who held the post since 2009.

In his speech after the results, Stephanou said the goal is to “become once again, the protagonists in the fields that shape progress.”

The latest parliamentary elections on May 30 saw Akel lose 3.3 per cent of its support as well as one seat, after being in opposition for eight years against a scandal-ridden government.

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