The big surprise in this year’s European elections came from Fidias Panayiotou, a 24-year-old Cyprus YouTuber with no political experience, who “swept” the vote in Cyprus by securing 19.4% and 71,330 votes, earning him a seat in the European Parliament.

The Democratic Rally (DISY) took first place with 24.8%, while AKEL (Progressive Party of Working People) came second with 21.67%.

Panayiotou, the son of a priest with no formal education or academic qualifications, has carved out a successful career on TikTok and YouTube. Since starting his YouTube channel in 2019, he has amassed approximately 2.6 million subscribers.

His decision to run as an independent candidate in the 2024 European elections was driven by his belief in being the change he wants to see.
“I heard somewhere that if you are not satisfied with the things around you and want them to change, you have to be the change yourself,” he stated.

Visibly moved after the exit polls, he remarked, “Perhaps this is the first time an independent candidate has been elected without any connection to a political party, armed only with social media and nothing else.”

He emphasized that today is a historic day not only for Cyprus but for the entire world. Addressing party representatives in the studio, he pointed out, “Ladies and gentlemen of the parties, I want you to take today’s event as a wake-up call to modernize, to remember that you serve the people and not your personal and party interests.”

Fidias Panayiotou celebrated his victory with a huge party in Nicosia’s Eleftheria Square, declaring, “We are writing history. Not just in Cyprus, but internationally.” His success at the age of 24, without a political background, is seen as a significant message to the political parties in Cyprus.