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Neophytou takes swipes at rival presidential candidates

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Disy leader Averof Neophytou

Ruling Disy’s presidential candidate Averof Neophytou took swipes at his rivals in the February 2023 elections honing in on the Cyprus issue and the energy crisis.

In an interview with Politis published on Sunday, Neophytou said he saw prospects for a Cyprus solution despite the current geopolitical upheaval and the energy/inflation crisis

With the solution of the Cyprus problem, all the countries of the neighbourhood should enter the energy equation, he said, and at the same time, post-solution, Cyprus should join Nato.

“There will be nothing on the Cyprus issue in the coming months – and it is not because President Anastasiades does not want it – but because [Turkish President] Erdogan will not discuss Cyprus until Turkey’s elections are finished,” said Neophytou.

Referring to rival, Akel-backed independent Andreas Mavroyiannis who was the Greek Cypriot negotiator during the failed Cyprus talks in Crans-Montana in 2017, Neophytou said that if as Akel claims, the Greek Cypriot side buried the talks “then who was the undertaker?”.

“If he [Mavroyiannis] disagreed, why did he remain in the burial of the Cyprus problem, as Akel, who now supports him, used to say.”

“It is not as a civil servant who was a negotiator. The appointment of a negotiator is political. To see my homeland destroyed, as Akel used to say… that the Cyprus issue is being buried… and he remains as negotiator? He should have resigned ”

About his other main rival, Nikos Christodoulides, who served as government spokesman and as foreign minister under Anastasiades, and is also a Disy member, Neophytou said it was almost certain that he would be backed by centre-right Diko.

“Of these two, the only one who has differed on some issues, is me. You mentioned the tsunami of crises,” he said to the interviewer. “I have never heard, either Mavroyiannis or Christodoulides, talk about what was coming .”

He also took a swipe at Christodoulides over the golden passports scandal, saying “do not forget”, this was under the ministry of foreign affairs, which ultimately had the responsibility of promoting passports under the investment scheme.

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