Conservative wins critical Cyprus presidency vote

February 24, 2013 • Business

A supporters of Nicos Anastasiades celebrate his victory in the presidential elections in Nicosia, Cyprus, Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013. The left-wing candidate in Cyprus’ presidential election runoff, Stavros Malas, has conceded defeat. Near final results show his conservative rival, Nicos Anastasiades, has won with one of the widest margins in 30 years. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — Conservative candidate Nicos Anastasiades won Cyprus’ presidency Sunday by one of the widest margins in 30 years, promising to do what it takes to quickly secure a financial rescue package from international creditors and prevent the country from sliding into economic oblivion.

Anastasiades, 66, won the runoff election with 57.48 percent of the vote, well ahead of left-wing rival Stavros Malas, who nabbed 42.51 percent, final results showed.

The election comes as Cyprus is negotiating a much-needed bailout with the eurozone’s other 16 countries and the International Monetary Fund. The wide margin of victory in favor of Anastasiades indicates Cypriots are prepared, to a degree, to stomach what could be painful austerity measures attached to a bailout, as well as a snub to left-wing rule that many feel is responsible for the country’s sorry economic state.

Anastasiades, who takes office March 1 for a five-year-term, promised to create a government of “national unity” though it was unclear what its composition would be.

“My first priority is to reinstate Cyprus’ credibility,” Anastasiades said in a speech after his victory. “I’m determined to work together with our EU partners, and at the same time, Login to read more

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