Political scene buzzing as parties decide on stance in run-off presidential elections

Political parties are deciding this week which candidate, if any, to support in the run-off election for the eighth President of the Republic of Cyprus, with incumbent President Nicos Anastasiades and independent presidential hopeful Stavros Malas leading the race, having garnered the two highest percentages in Sunday’s first round.

Anastasiades, backed by the Democratic Rally (DISY), said he is open to cooperation with all those who agree with the fundamental principles of his programme. Government Spokesman Nikos Christodoulides said Anastasiades will be waiting for the political parties to hold their meetings before making any further moves.

Anastasiades has held telephone conversations with the leaders of political parties, including the Democratic party (DIKO), the Movement for Social Democracy EDEK, the Solidarity Movement, the Citizens’ Alliance, and the Green Party.

Malas, backed by the main opposition leftwing AKEL party, is holding meetings with various personalities. He has already met with DIKO President Nicolas Papadopoulos and has scheduled or will schedule meetings with the other parties that supported Nicolas Papadopoulos in the first round.

In Sunday’s first round, Anastasiades garnered 35.5%, while Malas secured 30.3%. Democratic Party leader Nicholas Papadopoulos trailed behind with 25.7%, while ELAM leader Christos Christou ranked fourth with 5.6%. Yiorgos Lillikas of the Citizens’ Alliance Movement received 2.2%. The other four candidates received from 0.10% to 0.22%. Participation reached 71.9% and abstention was 28.1%.

The Democratic Rally (DISY) has decided to intensify efforts to promote Anastasiades’ candidacy, inter alia by approaching and convincing DISY supporters who did not vote in the first round to do so in the second round.

AKEL General Secretary Andros Kyprianou said no names have been finalised regarding the composition of the Council of Ministers in the case that Malas wins the elections. He also said there was a lot to be done to fully regain the trust of the traditional AKEL voters.

The Democratic Party (DIKO) Executive Committee will be convening on Tuesday. The proposal on the table is to vote at will, and efforts are being made for all the parties who supported Nicolas Papadopoulos to do the same. The final decision will be taken on Thursday by the Central Committee.

The Movement for Social Democracy EDEK will take its final decision on Friday, with the Political Bureau already deciding that it will make an effort to maintain a common stance among the parties that supported Nicolas Papadopoulos.

The Solidarity Movement will be deciding on Tuesday on a proposal to take to the Central Committee.

The Supreme Senate of the Citizens’ Alliance will be convening on Wednesday to decide on its stance.

The Green Party has scheduled a pancyprian meeting for Thursday to decide on its stance, but has already said it maintains its allegiance with the forces that supported Nicolas Papadopoulos in the first round of elections.

The National Popular Front ELAM will be sending a questionnaire to the two candidates and will take a specific decision in favour of one or the other, depending on their answers.

The United Democrats have called on their supporters to vote for either candidate.

The run-off election is set to be held on February 4. In order to be elected, a candidate must secure the minimum majority of 50% of the votes plus one.

The inauguration of the new President will be held before the House of Representatives during an extraordinary session, which will take place on February 28.

Source: Cyprus News Agency