Cyprus’s ruling conservatives took the lead in Sunday’s general election, results showed, while a far-right party won its first seats in the legislature amid voter disillusionment after a 2013 financial meltdown. With the voting tally at 100 percent, and an unprecedentedly high abstention rate, the right-wing Democratic Rally party was ahead with 30.6 percent of the vote followed by Communist AKEL with 25.6 percent. Compared to the previous elections of 2011, those two main parties on the Cypriot political scene suffered setbacks. AKEL’s Communists lost up to seven percentage points while Democratic Rally lost 3.7 percentage points.
By contrast ELAM, an extremist party forged on the coat-tails of Greece’s Golden Dawn, scraped past a newly-imposed 3.6 percent electoral threshold and won up to two seats, according to preliminary estimates.
“It’s sort of a kindergarten version of Golden Dawn,” said political analyst Hubert Faustmann, referring to the party formed in 2008. “All the big parties lost.”
Cyprus has an executive system of government and the president is elected separately, but the vote on Sunday was seen as a popularity gauge for President Nicos Anastasiades, whose term expires in 2018.