Three objections have been filed over the archbishop elections, it emerged on Wednesday, after Paralimni mayor Theodoros Pyrillis strongly hinted that certain bishops may have muddied the waters.
Pyrillis did not specify what the accusations were but said on Sunday evening, the day elections were carried out, he heard third-party information that amounted to “what would constitute as criminal offences, if these were political elections,” he told state radio.
Asked if it concerned members of the public or a particular bishop, he simply said “bishops”. Archbishopric elections commissioner Ioannis Charilaou noted he had three objections before him but hinted they did not suggest something particularly worrying.
Pyrillis noted he filed a statement both to Charilaou and the Holy Synod, informing them of the events he knew about.
The matter is expected to be discussed on Thursday, where the Holy Synod is set to meet at 10am. Objections are permitted for three days after the elections, which took place on Sunday, making Wednesday the deadline.
Paphos bishop Georgios, who is the caretaker of the throne said elections could even take place on Friday, in time to have a new archbishop for Christmas. The Holy Synod will vote for the new archbishop out of the triumvirate: the three bishops which garnered the highest number of votes from the public.
These are Limassol bishop Athanasios, who gathered a clear lead with 35.68 per cent of the votes, Georgios who got 18.39 per cent and Tamassos bishop Isaias with 18.1 per cent.
The battle seems to be playing out between Athanasios and Georgios, with efforts for scrutiny and allegiances underway.
In an interview with Alithia, Constantia-Famagusta bishop Vasilios said he will hold individual meetings with each of the three bishops before making a decision on who he will vote for.
He explained he had created a protocol over important matters, including the Cyprus problem, that he would ask them to sign.
Vasilios highlighted some bishops are opposed to any solution to the Cyprus problem and this immediately disqualifies them from the post.
Additionally, he is in favour of creating a national council for the church that deals exclusively with the Cyprus problem and is comprised of bishops, scientists and analysts.
Controversial Morphou bishop Neophytos said considering all the speculation in the media on who would vote for who, he wanted to stress that his support was not “a given” for anyone.