|The GS of AKEL A.Kyprianou.|
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 AKEL (Progressive Party of Working People) with 25.6 percent.
Compared to the previous elections of 2011, those two main parties on the Cypriot political scene suffered setbacks. AKEL lost up to seven percentage points while Democratic Rally lost 3.7 percentage points.
By contrast ELAM, a far-right formation forged on the coat-tails of Greece's Neo-Nazi Party of Golden Dawn, scraped past a newly-imposed 3.6 percent electoral threshold and won up to two seats, according to preliminary estimates. 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.
In a statement, the General Secretary of AKEL Andros Kyprianou pointed out that the result is not satisfactory and that the collective organs of the Party will pay attention to it. He added that AKEL will remain at the forefront of working people's rights and interests, as well as for a viable solution in the Cyprus question. Both the Political Bureau and the Central Committee of AKEL will come to session during the next days in order to evaluate the electoral result and the Party's strategy in the next period.