Communist party leader wins Greek Cyprus election

Communist party leader Dimitris Christofias was the winner of Sunday's Greek Cyprus presidential runoff election, official results showed.

Communist party leader wins Greek Cyprus election
With 80 per cent of votes counted, official results showed Christofias gaining 53.63 per cent and his rival Ioannis Kasoulides 46.37 per cent.

The win makes Christofias the only communist leader in the 27- member European Union and the first to head Greek Cyprus. Despite his party's Leninist roots he has assured business investors he will leave the market alone.

The election came as UN mediators attempted another peace plan intended to mend the divisions between Greek and Turkish Cypriots on opposite sides of a ceasefire line that has split the island for the past 35 years.

Kasoulides, 59, has said he prefers a more direct approach with Turkish Cypriots, and is to travel to northern Cyprus on Monday for a face-to-face meeting with Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat if elected.

Soviet-educated Christofias, 62, said he would also meet with Talat, but that the meeting would be arranged through the UN.

"I do not think Mr Kasoulides or myself has the magic formula to break the deadlock," Christofias said in a televised debate on Friday. "But I have the goodwill to move forward to try to find a settlement. It is an absolute necessity."

Güncelleme Tarihi: 25 Şubat 2008, 11:03