By Zehra Nur Duz
ANKARA (AA) – The Greek Cypriot administration's parliament has elected its first female speaker, local media reported on Friday.
Lawmakers handed the role on Thursday to the 35-year-old Annita Demetriou, a member of the ruling center-right Democratic Rally (DISY) party, according to the Cyprus Mail daily.
Demetriou received 25 votes in the second round followed by 18 votes for Andros Kyprianou, the leader of AKEL, a party with communist roots.
In the Greek Cypriot administration, a candidate for the role to head the 56-seat assembly must receive at least 22 votes in the second round.
The vote was held in the afternoon during parliament's first session after it assumed duties following parliamentary elections two weeks ago.
– Results of May 30 legislative elections
The ultra-nationalist ELAM party and the centrist DIPA made significant gains in the recent legislative elections held on May 30.
With all the votes counted, the DISY emerged in first place with 27.77% of the vote, followed by AKEL.
However, the frontrunners respectively lost 2.9% and 3.3% compared to the previous election, while ELAM surged to 6.78%, nearly double its share in 2016, and the centrist DIPA to 6.1%.
Cyprus has been mired in a decades-long struggle between Greek and Turkish Cypriots, despite a series of diplomatic efforts by the UN to achieve a comprehensive settlement.
The island has been divided since 1964 when ethnic attacks forced Turkish Cypriots to withdraw into enclaves for their safety. In 1974, a Greek Cypriot coup aimed at Greece’s annexation led to Turkey’s military intervention as a guarantor power. The TRNC was founded in 1983.
The Greek Cypriot administration, backed by Greece, became a member of the European Union in 2004, although most Greek Cypriots rejected a UN settlement plan in a referendum that year which had envisaged a reunited Cyprus joining the EU.