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Christodoulides decries mud-slinging that ‘degrades political dialogue’

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Nikos Christodoulides says he does not overestimate social media and says the real community is out there in the world

Presidential candidate and former foreign minister Nikos Christodoulides on Sunday said he consciously avoids entering any pre-election debate that “degrades political dialogue”.

Christodoulides, in an interview with Phileleftheros, decried the mud-slinging and the “unprecedented and unacceptable situations arising in the pre-election campaign, because some believe that in this way they will score points against their political opponents”.

He was responding to a question he has been asked numerous times in recent weeks that he deny or confirm the matter of the fake social media accounts which he apparently instructed a former campaign aide to set up. The aide had claimed that Christodoulides personally told him to create the fake accounts and use them to sling mud at politicians and journalists.

“I have already positioned myself on this particular issue,” Christodoulides said. “I consciously choose, and will continue to do so, not to discuss, in public, matters of private, family life or private communications of anyone with anyone in any form, even if they are presented in a piecemeal way to create certain impressions, which do not correspond to the facts,” he said.

Christodoulides has also made claims of threats against his supporters in the past week but said even though people have urged him, he will not file a claim with police because he has much more serious priorities in his battle for the presidency.

“I must remain above all these diversionary tactics since, as I have reiterated several times, my aim is to prepare serious, well-planned, effective governance to address all the major challenges plaguing society,” he said.

He hinted that the goal of the smear over the fake posts was to discredit him and it had no effect at all. He also dodged a question as to why he doesn’t point the finger at the people he claims are trying to smear him saying: “I choose not to refer to specific incidents in order not to further degrade the level of the dialogue and the election campaign itself”.

Akel had accused Christodoulides of avoiding pointing the finger at ruling Disy, his political roots, which the opposition party said is who the candidate meant when referring to the mud-slinging.

He told his interviewer: ” The fact that we have been talking for so long about the recent unfortunate event proves what I told you in my first reply. The goal is my deconstruction but also the disorientation of the public debate”.

He added: “For this reason, since I will not play this game and remain focused on my serious work with respect for society I will tell you that I leave the answer to everyone’s judgment.”

Asked if he was being viewed as the ‘Cypriot Macron’, in reference to the French president, Christodoulides said he never considered himself as such, adding that he has never liked such comparisons and does not claim that title.

“Personally don’t believe in overestimating the power of social media. The real community is out there in the world,” he said.

Also, he decries the title of the ‘new Makarios’ saying: “Such comparisons do not help and are best avoided. I am who I am, people know me well through my work, I took the serious decision to run for the highest office of the state because I believe it is time for renewal, mindsets and procedures, for a modern rule of law that will strengthen the Republic of Cyprus, its economy and international status and will upgrade the standard of living, the everyday life of every citizen”.

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