Cyprus elects first woman Speaker of the House

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Cyprus has its first woman, Speaker of the House, since independence in 1960 after MPs elected ruling DISY’s Annita Demetriou to the post, the second-highest office in the country.

Demetriou, who is also the youngest speaker to be elected at the age of 35, garnered 25 votes in the second round of voting on Thursday.

The vote took place as the newly elected MPs took their seats for the House’s first plenary, following the elections two weeks ago.

Initially, seven candidates entered the first round: AKEL leader Andros Kyprianou, DISY MP Annita Demetriou, Democratic Front’s (DIPA) leader Marios Garoyian, Green party boss Charalampos Theopemptou, EDEK’s leader Marinos Sizopoulos, far-right ELAM chairman Christos Christou, and DIKO leader Nicolas Papadopoulos.

As no candidate could garner the necessary 29 plus votes in the first round, MPs went through a second round, where the House Speaker can be elected with just 22 votes.

ELAM withdrew its candidacy in the second round and voted for Demetriou.

In her acceptance speech, Demetriou, the only female candidate for the post, referred to another pioneer — US Vice President Kamala Harris.

Demetriou made strong references to Kamala Harris’ victory speech, highlighting the shattering of glass ceilings for gender equality.

Harris was elected the USA’s first woman Vice President, who is also of African American and South Asian origin.

Demetriou said MPs were tasked with restoring parliament’s credibility after the ‘golden passports’ corruption scandal.