Cyprus Mail

Akel resumes search for candidate

Akel leader Andros Kyprianou (left) and Mike Spanos announcing their decision on Thursday (Christos Theodorides)

IT was back to the drawing board for Akel on Friday following the failure to come to an agreement with businessman Mike Spanos who will not be standing as a candidate supported by the party in next year’s presidential elections.

Akel’s secretariat was scheduled to meet on Friday to discuss the new state of affairs, as time was pressing the party to come up with a candidate who would have a chance of getting elected next February.

One option would be Citizens’ Alliance chairman Yiorgos Lillikas, who put himself out there immediately after the party announced it had fallen out with Spanos.

The two sides will be meeting on June 26, though Akel leader Andros Kyprianou made it clear that they won’t be backing Lillikas.

He said none of the current candidates met the criteria set by the party.

Kyprianou said Lillikas had asked for the meeting, adding that he had suggested to him to withdraw his candidacy and discuss the possibility of finding a candidate that would be acceptable to both sides.

Lillikas’ positions on the Cyprus problem, specifically the type of settlement – he is against a bizonal, bicommunal system – are a no-no for Akel.

Speaking on a state broadcaster show on Thursday evening, Kyprianou had said the deadline they had set for July would not be missed.

He reiterated that the party’s priority would be finding a candidate who could win the election and rid the country of the Anastasiades administration.

Meanwhile, names keep on coming and going at the party, which could now look closer to home.

One option would be former health minister Stavros Malas whom the party backed in 2013. Reports also said that former finance minister Kikis Kazamias was also approached, but his answer was still no.

There were also the names of MEP Takis Hadjigeorgiou, and that of the reunification talks negotiator Andreas Mavroyiannis.

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