Christofias wins Cyprus runoff election

New president says he is ready and willing to cooperate with Turkish Cypriot counterpart

Demitris Christofias

Demitris Christofias

Communist leader Dimitris Christofias has won Cyprus' crucial presidential runoff, pledging to restart moribund talks to reunify the island, and immediately agreed to meet the leader of the breakaway Turkish Cypriots.
Jubilant supporters flooded the streets of Nicosia, Europe's last divided capital, waving Cypriot and Che Guevara flags, honking car horns and lighting flares.
"We have a common vision ... to reunite our people, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots," Christofias said in his victory speech Sunday.
"I extend a hand of friendship to the Turkish Cypriot people and their leadership," he said, thanking Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat for telephoning to congratulate him and saying he looked forward to "substantial cooperation for the benefit of both communities."
Christofias' win makes strategically important Cyprus a rarity among its European Union partners - a country led by a president with firmly communist roots.
The 61-year-old history professor captured 53.37 percent of the vote.

Updated : 2020-12-04 14:05 GMT+08:00