Winner of Cyprus elections expresses wish to reunify the island

In the second round of the presidential elections, Communist Demetris Christofias beat the Conservative candidate, who has already expressed support for solving the “Cyprus problem”.

Following yesterday's elections in Greek Cyprus, the divided island finds itself in a new position. After legislation driven through by the Papadopoulos government, which had a reluctant attitude towards unification, the Cypriots have shown their support for greater dialogue with the Turks living in Northern Cyprus. The message was delivered loud and clear last Saturday, when voters chose the two candidates advocating dialogue, Christofias and the Conservative candidate, Ioannis Kasoulides.

After his victory, Christofias had the following message for his supporters: "You are well aware that we have a clear vision... a noble vision to reunite Cyprus... to rid it of the occupation [and] unite all of its people, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots." Reunification came up again and again during the election campaign, and the two leading candidates had similar stances on the issue. Even yesterday, the losing candidate, Kasoulides pledged the support of his party on the issue: "I have assured [Christofias] that I will be with him along the way as we try to find a settlement to the Cyprus problem."

Last year, Papadopoulos's Government missed out on the opportunity to end the conflict, which began with the invasion of the northern half of the island by the Turkish army. The Government rejected the unification plan put forward by the UN, which had the support of the Turkish community. At that time, Christofias's party (AKEL, Progressive Party of Working People) was part of the governing coalition, but AKEL left the government in the summer of 2007 and began to show support for dialogue with Turks.


Further information: