Cypriot presidential race heats up after the election debate

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Almost three weeks away from the elections in Cyprus and the candidates took the debate stage on Wednesday night.

The 7 candidates have presented their positions in the third presidential debate which was aired on 4 TV stations.

The tension between the 7 candidates continues to heat ahead of the Cyprus elections, which will be held on Sunday February 5, 2023 and the runoff on Sunday February 12.

Averof Neophytou, Andreas Mavroyiannis, Nikos Christodoulides, Christos Christou, Achilleas Demetriades, Giorgos Kolokasidis, and Konstantinos Christofides clashed in the last debate for several pressing issues.

The three main candidates (Neophytou, Mavroyiannis, Christodoulides) avoided interacting with the other four candidates in order to maintain their advantage over their rivals.

Mr. Mavroyiannis attempted to deflect accusations of dependence on AKEL and to direct his fire at the two candidates “of the Anastasiades government”.

Mr. Neophytou played the party patriotism card, branding Mr. Christodoulides as a renegade. 

Mr. Christodoulides’ presented his programmatic positions in case he will elect.

Photo: dialogos.com.cy

The only news came out from the debate were the names of Mr. Zenios and Mr. Pissarides as Ministers of Finance of the candidates Demetriades and Christofides respectively.

The candidates moved cautiously and with the intention of following well-worn communicative and strategic paths that have also been emerging over the past few weeks.

Cyprus has a presidential system of government and the head of state has wide executive powers.

Opinion polls show Nikos Christodoulides, a former foreign minister, firmly in the lead. Barring a major upset, he will fall short of the 50% threshold in the first round on Feb. 5, leading to a runoff on Feb. 12.

Christodoulides’s backers, the centrist DIKO and the socialist EDEK party, have historically taken a harder line than other groupings.

Christodoulides served in the right-wing administration of the ruling Democratic Rally (DISY) party until Jan. 2022.

DISY is fielding its own candidate, Averof Neophytou, who is about 10 points behind Christodoulides in polls. He is marginally ahead of Andreas Mavroyiannis, an independent backed by the left-wing AKEL party.

Source: knews.kathimerini.com.cy

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