President Nicos Anastasiades tiptoed around questions on the presidential elections on Thursday, as he reiterated that he would not be seeking a third term.
Anastasiades was asked to comment on Disy leader Averof Neophytou’s bid for the presidency in 2023 and whether he knew of anyone else who was planning to run.
“He is not running against me so why comment? It is the right of the chairman of the party, in line with the charter and the Democratic Rally’s procedures,” he said.
The president admitted Neophytou on Wednesday night at a social event.
“We had been invited by common friends and met to have a drink ahead of the holidays,” he said.
Anastasides said he did not know of anyone else who could be planning to run for the presidency, a question most probably referring to Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides, who reports suggested the president was considering replacing because of his possible bid.
“The only thing certain is that I will not be running again.”
Reports suggested Anastasiades had sounded out former foreign minister Ioannis Kasoulides if he was willing to replace Christodoulides, who is believed to have presidential aspirations.
Neophytou’s announcement on Wednesday was seen as a bid to undercut the foreign minister, as Disy officials have repeatedly said that two candidates from the same party would be damaging.