25 February, 2008
Demetris Christofias, newly-elected President of Cyprus, has called for collective action to help reunify Cyprus and said that unity will help achieve this goal.
Addressing the crowd that gathered outside his election office to cheer him on, Christofias said his election victory belongs not only to the party he has led for years now, AKEL, but also to all the forces that supported his candidacy.
''Tomorrow a new day will dawn. We will encounter many difficulties ahead. As of tomorrow we join forces. We work collectively and with unity to achieve the reunification of our homeland,'' Christofias said.
He added that ''at this time we only have one ideology, Cyprus and its salvation and a fairer society.'' He thanked his opponent, Ioannis Kasoulides, as well as outgoing President Tassos Papadopoulos, who came third in the first round of the elections.
In a statement after conceding defeat, Kasoulides said he had contacted Christofias to congratulate him, assuring him that he would always stand by him in the struggle to solve the Cyprus problem.
Kasoulides thanked all those who honored him with their vote and said he was proud, because the values he held high during the pre-election period were embraced by many people, especially the youth.
''We did not win this great battle, but our party, the Democratic Rally, is now stronger,'' he said and called on his supporters to come closer to the party and its leadership.
He furthermore said he would be present in all the struggles of the people of Cyprus for progress, justice and freedom.
President of the Democratic Rally (DISY) Nicos Anastasiades, whose party backed Ioannis Kasoulides, said ''we are ready to cooperate with the new government and all the political forces above all for the Cyprus problem and in an effort to reunite our homeland.'' He added that the decision of the people was fully respected and ''we expect the new President to implement everything he has been declaring.'' He also congratulated Kasoulides on his ''efforts and clear political word'' during the pre-election period.
President of the Democratic Party (DIKO) Marios Karoyan said DIKO, which supported Christofias in the runoff election, was committed to continue struggling with determination to defend the rights of the people and guarantee the right course of a Cyprus settlement.
The people of Cyprus have given Christofias and the political forces that supported him a clear mandate, he added.
President of the Movement of Social Democrats EDEK Yiannakis Omirou, whose party supported Christofias in the runoff election, expressed satisfaction over the result of the elections, adding that ''we will be present, with creative participation, in the new government.''
Christofias won 53.36% of the vote and Kasoulides 46.64%.
Christofias, a historian, was born in 1946 in the village of Dikomo and studied history in Moscow. He joined the AKEL ranks at an early age and has served the party youth branch. In 1982, he was elected member of the party Central Committee, in 1986 of the Political Bureau and a year later to the Secretariat of the Committee. In April 1988, he was elected to the post of General Secretary of AKEL, a post to which he was re-elected four more times. He was first elected to the House of Representatives in May 1991, and in 2001 hewas elected President of the House, a post he still holds.
He is the seventh President of the Republic.
Source: Athens News Agency