Presidential candidate Giorgos Lillikas on Tuesday said he would not accept a ministerial post or an EU Commission appointment from the administration of incumbent president Nicos Anastasiades, who is widely expected to win a second term.
Speaking to Sigma, Lillikas ruled out accepting a sinecure in return for lending his support to one of the candidates – he was asked about Anastasiades specifically – during the second round of elections.
Lillikas, head of the Citizens Alliance party, is projected to garner anywhere from 1 to 2 per cent of the popular vote. Depending on circumstances, this could be enough to tip the scales in favour of either of the two candidates making it to the runoff.
The dark horse accused the team of Nicholas Papadopoulos of engaging in a mudslinging campaign against him, particularly on social media.
Without going into details, he claimed that a woman connected to the Papadopoulos camp was posting ‘obscenities’ about his wife.
This, he complained, got little traction in the media, as opposed to the coverage given to Anastasiades’ earlier remarks about Papadopoulos’ mother.
Lillikas described the televised elections debate – scheduled to be broadcast on January 22 – as a ‘parody’ as its format will not afford the candidates the chance to lock horns but merely say their piece.
The debate will feature the five main candidates: Anastasiades, Papadopoulos, Akel-backed Stavros Malas, Elam’s Christos Christou and Lillikas.
Also on Tuesday Akel leader Andros Kyprianou upped the ante, calling Diko’s Papadopoulos a “dangerous politician” and urging Cypriots to vote for the best candidate for Cyprus – Malas.
Kyprianou said Papadopoulos held “dangerous ideas” about the Cyprus problem, and lambasted the Diko leader for being complicit in the series of austerity measures passed in the wake of the 2013 financial meltdown.
“Privatisations, home repossessions, insolvency, bank profits and much more. There is not a single anti-people bill which he [Papadopoulos] did not back.”
The presidential elections will be held on January 28.
The president of Cyprus is elected using a two-round system. If no candidate gets a majority in the first round of voting, a runoff will be held between the top two candidates.
Polls consistently show Anastasiades well in the lead with 30 to 32 per cent of the popular vote, with Malas and Papadopoulos battling for second.