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Cyprus. The influencer became an MEP. “I don't stand for anything”

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Popular influencer from Cyprus Fidias Panayiotou has been elected as an independent Member of the European Parliament. An expert from the University of Nicosia, Hubert Faustmann, claims that people voted for him to protest against the political elites.

24-year-old influencer Fidias Panayiotou took third place in elections to the European Parliament on Cyprus. Its result is a big surprise – said prof. Hubert Faustmann from the University of Nicosia.

The expert admitted that “very few people expected Fidias to be successful.” – Only two or three days before the elections, one of the journalists told me that people thought he might succeed, but I was still skeptical about it – he emphasized.

The blogger's score was approximately 19 percent. votes, says a lot about public opinion's dissatisfaction with establishment political elites and mainstream parties, said the professor.

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The beginning of a “new type of democracy”

Fidias admitted that he is not interested in politics, has no knowledge about it, has never voted, and is active in social media. He is an anti-establishment candidate who “doesn't really stand for anything” politically, added the University of Nicosia lecturer.

Fidias, who runs popular channels on YouTube and TikTok, became famous, among others, from a campaign aimed at hugging Elon Musk. Commenting on his result, the influencer announced: “We achieved a miracle.” He noted that his only weapon was social media and said it could be the beginning of a “new type of democracy.”

Fidias Panayiotou finished third in the European Parliament elections in CyprusENEX

Faustmann noted that so far the voices of protest in Cyprus have been gathered by the far right. – It was a problematic vote of opposition because it also meant voting for fascists, far-right, xenophobic parties. Now people found a popular candidate through whom they could express their dissatisfaction with the political elite. This candidate didn't have bad connotations, he explained.

When asked what Cypriots expressed their opposition against, the expert mentioned corruption, lack of responsibility and impunity of political elites, as well as the mediocrity of candidates and policies.

Elections in Cyprus

The two main Cypriot parties, the ruling conservative DISY and the communist AKEL, received the most votes in Sunday's European elections. The far-right ELAM took fourth place, winning a seat in the European Parliament elections for the first time. He noted that this party is growing in strength.

– ELAM will enjoy support as long as the migration problem persists and as long as the level of frustration with politicians remains high, Faustmann predicts.

After the elections, everyone will wonder how it was possible that someone like Fidias could get such a good result, the expert emphasized. However, the professor does not expect major changes in the internal political scene, as the main parties will continue their way of conducting politics and managing the country. “The dissatisfaction that allowed Fidias to achieve such success will most likely continue,” he concluded.

Main photo source: ENEX

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