Prominent Akel figure Nicos Katsourides, who was indefinitely suspended in 2015, issued a statement on Friday backing Stavros Malas for the presidency.
“As a member of Akel, I want to declare my support for Stavros Malas,” Katsourides said. “A candidacy approved by overwhelming majority of Akel members.”
In May 2015, Akel had indefinitely suspended the 66-year-old over his alleged involvement in the Dromolaxia scandal, but stopped short of putting Katsourides out to pasture. The party was now prepared to review the matter, according to its leader Andros Kyprianou.
In the past few days, rumours claimed Katsourides would return to the fold to help rally the Akel rank and file, giving them an edge to leapfrog Diko’s Nicolas Papadopoulos and make it to the runoff ballot.
The main aim of this effort is the solution of the Cyprus problem, to liberate and reunify our country, without occupying troops, guarantees, guarantors, and a Turkish overlord, he said.
“A solution that would create a functional and viable state, an island of security, a bridge of peace and growth in the region,” his statement said.
Fair burden sharing and a fairer distribution of national wealth to the benefit of workers will also be pursued at the same time, Katsourides said.
Kyprianou welcomed the statement.
“Nicos Katsourides was one of the prominent members of Akel for decades,” Kyprianou said in a statement. “His decision to actively support Stavros Malas’ candidacy certainly satisfies us.”
He reiterated that Akel has no members to spare and it had always treated is members positively.
“That is how it will function now. It will revisit the matter that concerns him after the presidential elections.”