The leaders of Diko and Edek held a meeting on Monday to chart the course forward for a likely cooperation pact in the 2023 presidential elections.

The stage is setting up as key players and parties have made significant decisions: Disy has chosen Averof Neophytou while Akel has announced it will back Andreas Mavroyiannis, subject to rank-and-file endorsement in June.

In making their case for cooperation, Diko leader Nicolas Papadopoulos and Edek leader Marinos Sizopoulos held a joint press conference at Diko headquarters.

“Diko and Edek are the two pillars of the centre and I believe that our cooperation in the upcoming elections can guarantee the change we wish to see in our country,” Papdopoulos said.

The Diko leader touched on a wide array of issues, from migration to the pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“For all these reasons we wish to continue these contacts with Edek… so that we can return hope to society, our country and our people,” he added.

For his part, Sizopoulos said that Edek and Diko are the two parties with the most in common and the least points of friction between them.

Asked about whether they discussed which candidate they could jointly field, Sizopoulos said that they had not yet centred their focus on a particular person – adding that they must first work out the basis on which the two parties may cooperate.

Papadopoulos was asked whether he himself would run, to which he flatly declined to offer any details – neither rejecting nor affirming such a policy. He once again pointed to the current stage of discussions as remaining firmly on what the overarching aim and vision of the pact may be.

Elsewhere, Sizopoulos was asked about Akel’s all but guaranteed decision to back Mavroyiannis.

The Edek leader again ruled nothing out – as to whether his party could hold discussions with Akel – but added that the priority at the moment was working with Diko.