Nikos Christodoulides was elected the new president of Cyprus following the runoff elections on the island on Sunday.
Christodoulides secured 51.91 percent of the vote while his opponent Andreas Mavroyiannis got 48.09 percent.
Amid booming chants calling Nikos Christodoulides “the great”, the newly-elected president thanked his supporters for their votes, which handed him the country’s top post.
“I want to thank you warmly for what you achieved. You were the protagonists from the start, as you believed in me from the beginning,” he told supporters at his campaign office around two hours after the results were out.
Christodoulides said he remained committed to his promise that his cabinet will be a 50/50 split between women and men. “We will stay true to the promise we gave the people,” he told reporters.
He also made a special reference to Greece expressing his gratitude to the country, which will be his first official visit abroad, he said. Christodoulides also pledged Cyprus’ western orientation will only be strengthened.
“At the same time we will continue to broaden our relations with all countries in the region and all powers that can play a constructive role in ending occupation and resolving the Cyprus problem – always in the principles of the UN and EU.”
President Nicos Anastasiades tweeted his support to Christodoulides, wishing him the best of luck for the duties he was about to undertake.
On the first round of elections in Cyprus Christodoulides, running as an independent, was on 31.9 percent, followed Mavroyiannis on 29.6 percent. Averof Neophytou, leader of the ruling conservative DISY party, was on 26.1 percent.
Presidential hopeful Mavroyiannis conceded defeat an hour after the voting stations closed, thanking all his supporters “for the beautiful journey” they had embarked on.
Though the difference with his rival Nikos Christodoulides was 3.82 percent, Christodoulides gathered the clear majority of votes with 204,633 supporters – or 51.91 percent.
As Mavroyiannis headed to make his speech he was embraced by hoards of supporters who hugged him and congratulated him on his fight. He got 48.09 percent, translating to 189,592 votes.
“A long but beautiful journey has come to an end. It gave me the opportunity to meet thousands of people and share hopes and dreams for our country.”
Both contestants for the presidency have ties to former President Nicos Anastasiades.
Christodoulides left his role as the minister of foreign affairs to run as an independent backed by centrist parties.
The main opposition party, the leftist Progressive Party of Working People (AKEL), is backing Andreas Mavroyiannis, a diplomat running as an independent.