Cyprus elects a 24-year-old YouTuber who “knows nothing about politics” as MEP

In Cyprus, 24-year-old influencer Fidias Panayiotou, who ran as an independent candidate, secured a seat in the European Parliament, one of the six available on the island nation, local media reported.

With 100% of the votes counted, voters have officially elected their six representatives to the European Parliament: Loukas Fourlas and Michalis Hadjipantela (Disy), Giorgos Georgiou (Akel), Fidias Panayiotou (independent), Geadis Geadi (Elam) and Costas Mavrides (Diko).

Two main parties led the election: the communist Progressive Party of the Working People (AKEL) and the center-right Democratic Union (DISY), received 21.7% and 24.8% respectively.

Panayiotou unexpectedly came in third after the traditional political parties, with almost one in five voters taking part in the vote.

The far-right ELAM party will have one representative in the European Parliament for the first time.

Panayiotou filed his candidacy for the European Parliament in April. He stated at the time that his goal was not to win an election but to inspire young people to engage in politics, as reported by Politico.

Panayiotou has had about 2.6 million subscribers on his YouTube channel since he started posting in 2019. 

He became popular when he announced a “mission” to hug Elon Musk, which he eventually succeeded in doing.

Last year, he caused controversy by trying to travel to India and Japan for free and begging for money instead.

Announcing his candidacy in January, the blogger admitted that he had no idea about politics or the European Union but claimed to be willing to learn.

“I’ve never voted in my life, and one night I said to myself that if I never vote and never take an interest, the same nerds will always be in power, and I said, “Enough!” the blogger explained.

Contrary to predictions, far-right and eurosceptic MPs failed to secure enough seats in the European Parliament elections to outweigh the centrist forces that have kept the majority.

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