Cyprus Mail

Independents to meet again in search of single candidate

Lawyer Achilleas Demetriades

A second meeting between the four independent presidential candidates Achilleas Demetriades, Constantinos Christofides, Marios Eliades and Christodoulos Protopapas is set to take place on Wednesday.

On Friday, the four had met for lunch to discuss the possibility of cooperating in the elections, by backing a single candidate. Wednesday’s meeting is expected to the explore this idea.

“I believe that this cooperation can be very successful,” Demetriades told the Cyprus Mail.

Christofides also talking to Cyprus Mail about the matter said that “for the time being each candidate is moving forward individually, but at the same time a discussion is being held among the four of us reviewing the data at hand.”

“There are both convergences and differences in our positions,” he added.

Asked about how the four would go about agreeing on a common candidate, Demetriades avoided elaborating.

“We are in talks, and nothing has been decided yet. I have nothing to say regarding the methodology thus far although, obviously, opinion polls have a role to play.”

On his part, Christofides stressed the significance of qualitative measurements.

“Qualitative measurements are very important and it’s on this point that the winning candidacy must be decided,” he said.

Asked about Eliades’ socialist credentials and whether that could be a point of friction between, Christofides said, that “I am an individual with a western orientation, focused on the Scandinavian [economic] model, for entrepreneurialism and of course for the wealth created to be accessible to the whole of society.”

Demetriades on his part said that “my positions have been public since February 28. And those are the positions that I want to move forward with. Hopefully, based on those, we will be able to find common points and align with other independent candidates who believe in the bizonal bicommunal federation.”

Pressed to answer on potential disparities on economic matters, Demetriades said that “I believe we have a good margin for cooperation.”

Also Commenting on a potential cooperation with the Greens and Dipa, Demetriades said “of course, why not!”

“I have met with the Greens and gave my positions. They responded by requesting clarifications, which I provided. They are now in a process of internal discussions,” he added.

Christophides similarly believes that there was margin for cooperation with both Greens and Dipa, and further revealed that “there are also organized groups from other parties who are ready to support our effort as well.”

In addition, Christophides expressed certainty that an agreement of the four, would dramatically improve the chances of the independent candidate entering the second and “would be a winning candidacy against Christodoulides as people understand that votes to Mavroyiannis and Averof are losing votes.”

Demetriades was also critical of the political establishment’s failure to ensure youngsters registered to vote.

“Fifty per cent of those aged 18-25 are not registered to vote. This is tragic and is the result of the establishment’s failure to make voter registration mandatory,” he said.

“Voter registration should be automatic once you turn 18 years old. Why has the establishment avoided for so many years to make the necessary amendment? Why is the establishment refusing to amend the law right now,” he added.

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