Daily Politis and the leader of the Diko party on Tuesday took to trolling one another on social media over a back of a story published by the newspaper alleging a ‘secret deal’ between Diko and presidential candidate Nikos Christodoulides.
Over the weekend the paper ran a story about an alleged leaked memo – along with screenshots – drafted by Diko, purporting to set the conditions for the party’s election partnership with Christodoulides.
The Diko memo dates to April of this year. Highlights included a commitment binding Christodoulides not to set up his own party in the event of failure to make it to the runoff ballot or win the elections. Elsewhere the alleged memo states that, should Christodoulides fail to win the presidency, he could subsequently stand as a mayoral candidate on the Diko ballot.
Christodoulides’ adversaries jumped on the story, saying it confirmed that his candidacy is an artificial construct and the product of wheeler-dealing.
Diko itself denied the existence of such a memo, accusing Politis of ‘tabloid journalism’ and of outright fabricating the memo.
On Tuesday Diko boss Nicolas Papadopoulos turned it up a notch.
He posted on his Twitter feed: “Just how serious is the ‘document’ revealed by Politis? This is how serious – it claims that if Christodoulides doesn’t get elected president, we will make him a mayor. They can’t even do a proper forgery…”
Papadopoulos pinned to his comment an image of the Politis headline, photoshopped over with the words ‘Fake News.’
Responding in kind, Politis director Dionysis Dionysiou dug up a sensationalist report carried in the 1970s by Eleftherotypia – the then mouthpiece of the Diko party.
That report alleged that documents had been unearthed supposedly showing that the late former President Glafcos Clerides had been a ‘Nazi agent’.
During World War II, Clerides served in the British Royal Air Force. In 1942 his plane was shot down over Germany and he was captured. He remained a prisoner of war until the end of the war.
Dionysiou then remarked sarcastically: “Because we here at Politis can’t even do a forgery, I have convened an urgent meeting. Nicolas Papadopoulos wants us to learn from the best…”
Meantime Politis also reported that a Diko meeting of cadres, held on Monday, decided after all not to take any legal action against the newspaper over the publishing of the alleged Christodoulides-Diko memo.
Now running as an ‘independent’, Christodoulides has the backing of the Diko, Edek and Dipa parties. The former foreign minister consistently leads in opinions polls. In the latest survey published earlier this month, he garnered 30.5 per cent, trailed by Disy leader Averof Neophytou at 20.5 percent and Akel candidate Andreas Mavroyiannis at 17.5 per cent.