The latest news from the presidential election campaign trail

Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades said he is backing the candidate of the ruling right-wing Democratic Rally, Averof Neofytou for the presidency, ahead of the elections which will take place in February.


Anastasiades, who before assuming the presidency in 2013 was the leader of DISY, attended an event hosted by DISY’s Organization of Young Scientists in Nicosia on Wednesday and responded to positions that he is not supporting Averof’s presidential bid.


“United we continue as we began,” he said replying to questions by the press.


“When we say united we don’t just mean Neofytou, the leadership is united as it has always learnt to do. The political opportunists, predicting the weather, thought that storms were coming. I don’t think it’s the first time that some problems can happen in a family.”


Furthermore, addressing the event, Anastasiades called on the people of DISY to mobilise for the election of the party’s candidate, Averof Neofytou to the presidency.


On his part, Neofytou speaking at the same event said that the next President will be called on to manage “the most difficult conditions since the invasion” of Ukraine.


He added that his positions, his movements, his credibility and his alliances, “will determine if our country successfully overcomes the challenges it faces”. He also said that it “is the third time in the last 15 years that the parties of the centre attempt to meddle and split the Democratic Rally ” and that “their problem was and continues to be the positions expressed” by the party, such as “patriotic realism for the resolution of the Cyprus problem”, an open economy and the western orientation of the country.


Moreover, Neofytou announced that Georgia Consantinou Pangiotou, a lawyer and a member of the Board of the Cyprus Bar Association, will assume duties of Spokeswoman of his electoral office.


Andreas Mavroyiannis, an independent candidate backed by the left-wing AKEL, visited along with AKEL General-Secretary the Maronite village of Kormakitis in the Turkish-occupied part of Cyprus, stating that “this is an opportunity to send the message that Cyprus is one and we should find the way to reunite the island as soon as possible for the sake of the people independently of nationality, and religion.”


Speaking to an event in Oroklini, Larnaca, Stefanou attacked the government over the “scandal”, as he said, of wiretapping, stating “we need to put to the administration of DISY and clear the name of our country.”


He added that Andreas Mavroyiannis “is an honest and responsible man” and added “Mavroyiannis is exactly what Cyprus needs today. A President that is really honourable, sensible to the rule of law one who cannot put up with corruption that has risen sky high”.


Presidential independent candidate Constantinos Christofides presented yesterday, his governance program to members of the Onisilos Lakatamias Cultural and Sports Association as well as to several other citizens. As mentioned in a related press release from his campaign office, Christofides analysed his governance program and pointed out that the motto of his pre-election campaign: “We have a Plan for the Other Cyprus” is real and not a figure of speech. He further explained that his program has been drawn up by experts of various specialties and includes many of their concerns and mainly gives solutions and perspectives for a better future.


Independent candidate, Achilleas Demetriades issued a press release, expressing regret that the programmed broadcasted debates in November include only “the three systemic candidates” (ie the ones supported by the big parliamentary parties) thereby “leading the voters’ choice to a specific direction”.


“The practice of excluding candidates undermines the democratic dialogue, the exchange of ideas and consolidates the rule of the parties, which the citizens in every poll seem to reject,” he said.


Noting that the Cyprus Radiotelevision Authority has been notified, Demetriades expressed satisfaction that it will act immediately to safeguard that TV stations will comply with their legal obligation to treat all presidential candidates equally.


The candidate for the Presidency, George Kolokasidis, in a press release, stays that the government and the Legal Servive systematically insist on hiding “the elephant in the room” in relation to the wiretapping scandal. He notes that, despite the abundance of evidence, information and personal testimonies, the government and the Attorney-General wish to obscure and hide essential elements from a case that has taken on pan-European dimensions and creates very negative connotations for the name and credibility of Cyprus.


Source: Cyprus News Agency