Ruling Disy said on Sunday that as former foreign minister Nikos Christodoulides was now officially “the willing accomplice in the effort the Diko leadership to return to government at all costs”.

The announcement came shortly after Christodoulides, who says he is running as an independent, won the backing of Diko’s central committee.

“This puts an end to the hypocrisy of the false ‘independence’,” said Disy, whose presidential candidate is party leader Averof Neophytou.

“The agreement was made a long time ago behind closed doors. The only common denominator is the unbridled desire of Diko and Mr Christodoulides to share power,” the statement added.

It said the move places Christodoulides in direct conflict with his own party, Disy, adding that Diko and Christodoulides were cooperating “as they themselves state”, on the basis of a policy framework prepared by Diko.

“Citizens are entitled to know the content of this transaction especially since Diko is asking for a change of direction of the country to which Mr Christodoulides has obviously consented.”

Disy said it was highly unlikely however that “Diko and its candidate” would give the voting public the required explanation.