New President will not enjoy parliamentary majority

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Newly elected President Nikos Christodoulides will be sworn in before the House of Representatives on February 28, where he does not hold majority support.

According to CNA, the special Plenary session for the swearing-in ceremony will take place at 11.30 am as defined by the Constitution.

The ceremony will serve as a milestone for the official resumption of Parliament in recess since approving the budget in December due to the election campaign.

Parliament will resume on March 1, with the balance of power shifting since Cyprus’ two largest parties, conservatives Democratic Rally (DISY) and communists AKEL, will form the Opposition.

DISY holds 17 seats and AKEL 15 in the 56-seat Parliament.

This means the new government is backed by a minority of MPs belonging to centrist parties DIKO  and DEPA and social democratic party EDEK, which hold 16 seats in total.

However,  Christodoulides was voted in by a large swathe of DISY supporters, despite the party not officially backing him after Averof Neofytou failed to make it to the second round.

Chirstodoulides has served as government Spokesman and foreign minister under outgoing President Nicos Anastasiades, who was elected for two terms with the support of DISY.

Following the election result Sunday, Neofytou declared his party would behave as a “responsible opposition” and that “the new President can count on the support of DISY for the advancement of our country”.

AKEL Secretary General Stefanos Stefanou said his party would be in opposition “with responsibility and decisiveness” after Andreas Mavroyiannis lost the race.

Far-right party ELAM has three parliamentary seats and did not offer outright support to Christodoulides but was against his opponent Mavroyiannis because he was AKEL backed.

The Green party, with three MPs in the Parliament, did not officially endorse any candidate.

Independent MP Andreas Themistokleous was openly in favour of Christodoulides in the run-off election, while the stance of the newly independent MP Costis Efstathiou is not yet clear.

Nevertheless, the block vote of DISY and AKEL would prevent any government legislation from being approved.