News > Cypriot Armenians > Garoyian elected leader of the ruling political party in Cyprus
On 22 October 2006 Marios Garoyian was elected new leader of the ruling centre-right Democratic Party (DIKO), succeeding Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos who resigned from the post in August this year.
Garoyian secured 4,759 votes or 62.6% against 2,840 votes or 37.4% garnered by Nicos Kleanthous, who had been DIKO Acting President.
"Today democracy has won and it is the beginning of a new era. We owe a lot to the legacy of Spyros Kyprianou the founder of our party as well as today's president Tassos Papadopoulos. We will implement the political line of the coalition and move forward united, through a modernised Democratic Party," Garoyian declared moments after the announcement of the final results.
Garoyian is the first Cypriot-Armenian elected leader of a political party in Cyprus. He was born in Nicosia on 31 May 1961. He studied Political Sciences at the University of Peruja in Italy. He was a member of the DIKO Central Committee since 1988 and in 2005 was elected member of the Executive Bureau for the third time.
In 2003 Garoyian was appointed Director of the Cyprus President's Press Office (under Tassos Papadopoulos) and also served as Acting Government Spokesman. He resigned from his post earlier this year, announcing his intention to run for Parliament. He was elected Member of Parliament in May this year.
Garoyian has written a number of articles and analysis on the Cyprus problem and the EU both for the local and international press. He speaks English, Italian and Spanish besides Greek and Armenian.
According to Elias Hazou of "Cyprus Mail" (22 October 2006) Garoyian is portraying himself as a link between the old and new guards inside DIKO. He has pledged to open up the party and improve its functioning, which he says has grown stale. In this respect, Garoyian’s endeavour has been likened to that of PASOK leader George Papandreou in Greece: more power to ordinary party members.