By Constantinos Psillides
Main opposition party AKEL on Saturday announced its candidates for the May 2014 European Parliament (EP) elections while ruling DISY met to finalise its team
The six AKEL candidates are Stavros Evagorou, MP and former party spokesman, Vera Polykarpou, political advisor to the European United Left–Nordic Green Left (GUE-NGL), Haris Polykarpou, economist, Panayiotis Stavrinides, rector of Psychology at the Cyprus University, Neoclis Sylikiotis, former interior minister in the Papadopoulos and Christofias administrations and Takis Hadjigeorgiou, former MP and current MEP.
The candidates were named after a late meeting of the party Central Committee on Friday but official rubberstamped on Saturday morning. AKEL also decided on party policy regarding the European elections. The EP elections will be held on May 25.
DISY, after a meeting of the party’s political office on Saturday, announced that government spokesman Christos Stylianides and party deputy chief Lefteris Christoforou had been selected to join activist Rena Hoplarou, EVROKO leader Dimitris Syllouris and current MEP Eleni Theocharous on the EP ticket.
Current DISY MEP Antreas Pitsillides and MP Sotiris Sampson didn’t gather enough votes to be selected as candidates. Christoforou received the most votes (51), followed by Stylianides (42), while Sampson and Pitsillides received 18 and 19 votes respectively.
The five DISY candidates will be joined by a sixth, to be announced by party leader Averof Neophytou.
In a ceremony presenting the AKEL candidates on Saturday, party leader Andros Kyprianou said the elections would determine whether AKEL would be a major political power “a political power that will play a major role in the Cyprus problem negotiations… one that will not give in to threats, one that will keep fighting for the good of the people,” he said.
He said the people were being called upon to vote for a party that will stand against troika demands.
Kyprianou also criticised the European Commission for amassing power enabling them to bypass national governments. Unlike the European Parliament, Commission officials are appointed and not elected by the people.
DIKO hasn’t officially announced its candidates for the EP elections as yet. The Citizen’s Alliance announced its candidates two weeks ago while EDEK will be collaborating with the Green Party, with four candidates put forth by EDEK and two by the Greens.