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Cyprus

Diko backs Papadopoulos, Akel mulls options

DIKO's Nicolas Papadopoulos

Diko on Thursday formally gave the nod to the presidential candidacy of its party chairman Nicholas Papadopoulos, as main opposition Akel kicked off its own strategising for the 2018 elections.

With 26 votes for and none against, Diko’s executive bureau rubberstamped Papadopoulos’ nomination as the party’s candidate for the general elections.

Next, at the Central Committee, his candidacy was approved by acclamation.

“Here we go!” tweeted party spokesman Athos Antoniades, telegraphing the start of the party’s election campaign.

In his speech before the Central Committee, Papadopoulos said the fight began “to protect the Republic of Cyprus, to implement a new strategy on Cyprus, and to seek a correct, functional and viable solution.

“I have absolutely no doubt that this path, this effort, this collaboration, shall bring us victory in the presidential elections in February,” he added.

Earlier this week, the hardline parties Diko, Edek, and the Solidarity Movement decided to propose to their respective party members to back Papadopoulos as their joint candidate in the elections.

The Green party said it would ask its party members for a final decision, while Citizens’ Alliance chairman Giorgos Lillikas said he disagreed with the procedure. Lillikas has already announced his candidacy.

Also on Thursday, Akel’s political bureau convened to hold a first discussion on the type of candidate they would endorse.

Though no names were brought up, it was decided the party will back an individual of ‘broad acceptance’ and who shares Akel’s views on the Cyprus issue.

In a statement later, the party said it was “forced” to launch its electoral strategising as the elections were nearing while prospects for a Cyprus settlement were not encouraging.

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