The citizens have spoken and their verdict is fully respected, President Nikos Christodoulides said in his remarks on Sunday evening at the Presidential Palace referring to the results of the European Parliament elections and local authorities in Cyprus.

After expressing his satisfaction for the smooth conduct of the elections, Christodoulides congratulated those elected to either the European Parliament or local authority and assured them that the government and himself personally will be support them “in every action, initiative and activity aimed at improving the daily life of the citizens.”

“The six Cypriot MEPs are called upon to work for a stronger, more effective, more competitive and more strategically autonomous Europe. A Europe that strengthens our efforts to end the occupation and reunite our homeland and I am sure that they will make every effort to ensure that the Republic of Cyprus prides itself on being a creative partner also in the European Parliament, with a meaningful voice and role in all issues of concern to European citizens,” he underlined.

He also wished the elected local leaders every success, with the promise that he sees them “as valuable partners in the great effort we are making to upgrade local government”.

“The local authority reform that comes into effect on July 1 is a huge change that we strongly support. I have no doubt that with collective effort and cooperation we will meet the challenges posed by a reform of this magnitude,” he added.

The elections are over, the government’s cooperation with all political forces and elected local authority leaders should be taken for granted at all levels, Christodoulides specified.

Asked to comment on the surprise election of You Tuber independent candidate Fidias Panayiotou as member of the European Parliament, the president said that the result of the elections is fully respected, adding that the Cypriot people have spoken and everyone should receive the messages they sent.

In response to a remark that holding double elections did not help in reducing abstention, Christodoulides said that clearly a higher participation in both elections would be desirable, adding that everything will be examined by the executive, in cooperation with the legislature, to see what would be best to do in the upcoming elections in terms of participation.

Asked to comment on the significant rise of far-right parties in France, Germany and Austria in relation to the future of Europe, the president said it was certainly not what was desired, adding that he had seen the estimates on the composition of the European Parliament and had spoken to his colleagues and MEPs from other countries.

“I will be in Brussels on the 17th (of June), we will have this first debate, the first exchange of views with my colleagues on the President of the Commission, on the four main positions of the European institutions, and decisions will be taken on the basis of majority,” Christodoulides concluded.