The right-wing Democratic Rally was ahead with 30.6% of the vote followed by the Progressive Party of Working People (AKEL) with 25.6%. Compared to the previous electoral results of 2011, both main parties on the Cypriot political scene suffered setbacks. AKEL's Communists lost up to 7% while Democratic Rally lost 3.7%.
On the contrary, sadly, ELAM scraped past a newly-imposed 3.6% electoral threshold and won up to two seats, according to preliminary estimates. ELAM is considered a close ally to Greece’s far right, extremist party Golden Dawn, it was also forged on its coat-tails.
In total, eight political parties are expected to win parliamentary seats.
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.
Among other things, Anastasiades has been working on a plan to reunite Cyprus under a bi-zonal federal umbrella, as part of a settlement. ELAM disagrees with it and other small parties share that view.
Yesterday, Golden Dawn members in Greece celebrated ELAM’s entrance to the parliament. “For the first time, Cyprus will get nationalists in its parliament,” Golden Dawn leader Nikos Mihaloliakos told Greece's parliament minutes after the exit poll results were released.
Sunday’s elections were the first instance voters could express their discontent after the 2013 bailout. The deal included a bail-in on clients’ deposits at one major bank and wound down a second.
The abstention rate in the election exceeded 30 percent, one of the highest in a national vote since the inception of the Republic of Cyprus in 1960.