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Triumphant Mitsotakis to visit Cyprus

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President Nikos Christodoulides was among the first leaders to congratulate New Democracy President Kyriakos Mitsotakis for winning the Greek elections, revealing he would visit Cyprus soon.

In a post on Twitter, President Christodoulides said that he communicated with Mitsotakis to congratulate him on his “great victory”.

“We will meet in the next few days in Brussels, and soon he will visit Cyprus,” he Tweeted.

Mitsotakis is Greece’s prime minister for the second time after a historic victory for his party in an election that also sees the new far-right Spartans party enter parliament.

Victory for Mitsotakis and the New Democracy party comes despite anger over hundreds of migrants who died off southern Greece when an overcrowded fishing trawler from Libya to Italy capsized and sank.

That anger did little to dent the popularity of the 55-year-old and his party, which had been predicted to win comfortably after winning 40.79% of the vote (146 seats) in the first round on May 21.

Sunday’s poll victory gives his party 158 seats (with 95% of votes counted), having also benefitted from new rules that award bonus seats to the winning party.

After the results were declared, Mitsotakis said: “For the second time in a few weeks, the citizens have not just sent a message of continuity on the path we set out four years ago, but they gave us a strong mandate to move faster on the road to meet the great needs that our country has.”

Syriza

Mitsotakis’ main rival in the poll was the left-wing Syriza party led by Alexis Tsipras, but it was a bad day for the former prime minister.

With 47 seats, Syriza came out over a hundred behind in second place.

No opposition party has lost by such a large margin since 1974.

Tsipras admitted it was a disappointing result.

“We have suffered a serious electoral defeat, but I believe that the election result is mainly negative for society and democracy,” he said.

“The emergence of three far-right parties in Parliament, one of which has fascist extensions and connections, combined with the majority of Mr Mitsotakis’ right, is a negative development.”

Eight parties will share the 300 parliamentary seats.

They include the far-right Spartiates (Spartans) party led by Vasilis Stigkas. The eurosceptic, ultranationalist party was endorsed by jailed neo-Nazi Ilias Kasidiaris of the now defunct Golden Dawn party.

The Spartans had to cross the 3% threshold but had already scored nearly 5%, with 90% of the votes counted, giving them 13 seats.

The left-wing Pasok party (32 seats) will share the chamber with them, which took the third largest share of the vote, albeit well below New Democracy and Syriza.

On the far left and coming fourth in the race with 20 seats is the KKE – the Communist Party of Greece.

And there is the conservative Niki (Victory) party, led by Dimitris Natsios, a theologist with strong bonds to the Orthodox Church. They take 10 seats.

The populist and pro-Russian Elliniki Lisi party (Greek Solution) will also be represented with 12 seats.

As Greece gradually recovers from its brutal financial crisis, voters appear happy to return to power a prime minister who delivered economic growth and lowered unemployment.

He has rebranded Greece as a pro-business and fiscally responsible eurozone member, a stance appreciated by investors: it is expected for the country to regain investment grade status soon, more than 12 years after losing its rating, and marking an end to the dark days of the financial crisis.

Mitsotakis, a Harvard graduate, comes from one of Greece’s most prominent political families.

His late father, Constantine Mitsotakis, served as prime minister in the 1990s, his sister served as foreign minister, and his nephew is the current mayor of Athens.