The official nomination procedure for presidential candidates took place on Thursday where a record 14 hopefuls threw their name in for the top position in the country as each pledged to take Cyprus through the current economic and global challenges while doing their utmost to solve the Cyprus problem.
Submission of candidacies took place at the Filoxenia Conference Centre in Nicosia.
This year’s elections will see the highest number of candidates to date in Cyprus with 14, with the previous record being 11 in 2013.
At the last presidential elections in 2018, the number of candidates up for the spot was nine.
There are three main candidates: ruling-Disy backed Averof Neophytou, Akel-back independent Andreas Mavroyiannis, and Diko and Edek backed independent Nikos Christodoulides.
Also standing for the role are independents Achilleas Demetriades, Yiorgos Kolokassides, and Constantinos Christofides.
Far-right Elam leader Christos Christou is also on the ballot as are Andreas Efstratiou, Loucas Stavrou, Celestina De Petro, Andronikos Zervides, Alexios Savvides, Charalambos Aristotelous, and Julia Hovrina Komninos.
Efstratiou put his name on the ticket for the eighth time.
On Wednesday a third candidate, Constantinos Panayi, pulled out of the race for the island’s top post, two days after independent candidate Marios Eliades pulled out, following Christodoulos Protopapas last week.
During the presentation of his candidacy, Disy-backed Neophytou said that he submitted his name knowing well the responsibility that comes with the top spot.
“The next few years will be critical for our country and for every Cypriot woman and man. Today our economy is strong, but it is not a given, and without a strong economy there is no security, reliability for the country, or the capability of supporting society,” he said.
“The Disy party has proved that it is responsible, considering what we received and how our Cyprus is today. The job of a leader is to tell the truth and prepare for the future, turn danger into opportunity, to take on initiatives to solve multi-faceted issues, and bring results to our country,” he added.
Speaking after signing his official nomination, Mavroyiannis thanked the 100 hundred people that signed on to support his candidacy.
“Also, it is also a great honour to have the support of thousands people that await a progressive change in the country and are hopeful for a solution and reunification of Cyprus, an economy that will produce prosperity for all and not profits for the few, leadership that will serve the country and not its own interest, with honesty and honour, with transparency and accountability, clean, and will seek punishment for the individuals that were involved in the scandals that dishonoured Cyprus,” he said.
Submitting his nomination, Christodoulides, currently leading the polls, said that he spent the past several months speaking with the Cypriot people and listening to their concerns and their prospects for the future.
“On the basis of these discussions and with a team of worthy collaborators, I have created a modern governance plan that will meet the prospects of the Cypriot society and will bring reforms that bettering the lives of the whole of Cypriot society and providing hope to all,” he said.
He said that daily he receives the support of thousands of people, from various social strata, and that he is thankful for that.
Other candidates meanwhile also pledged to see the country through difficult times. Some criticised the current government and promised they would do a better job.
Achilleas Demetriades said the future of Cyprus could not be partition.
“We can prevent it. The European Union is the shield. Energy and the Euro-Turkish relationship are the keys to unlocking the resolution process. We need credibility. Those who led the Cyprus problem to the current tragic situation are part of the problem. They cannot be part of the solution.”
He added that corruption must be stopped, as it exposes the country and offends the people.
Former UCy rector, Constantinos Christofides said: “Today, we are surrounded buy immense dangers both social and national. I ask the citizens of Cyprus to decide what will make them proud, and in what type of country they want their children to live in.”
Far-right Elam candidate Christos Christou said that Cyprus deserves a better political leadership, which with its actions, will stand by the problems of society starting from the national issue, immigration, the issues of the inflation of the economy, the issues of education and of health.
In his statements after submitting his candidacy, Christou stated: “We are addressing our fellow citizens, who are anxious for the future of our country and believe that until today those who ruled and co-ruled the country did not deliver what should be”
Asked what the realistic goal of his candidacy is, he added that the objective goal is always success.
“This is of course determined by being able to pass to the second round. The second next goal is a strong Elam, which will be able to influence the next government, whatever it may be, in decision-making,” he said.
After submitting his candidacy and after thanking the elections commissioner for the facilities made due to his mobility problems, frequent candidate Efstratiou stated: “I am once again on the frontline for a better solution and a better life in our Cyprus.”
Speaking after submitting his nomination, Loukas Stavrou said that he wants the integration of the Republic of Cyprus into Greece and a dissolution of representative democracy.
“As the National Community Reconstruction (Ekan), we submit a comprehensive proposal for the integration of the Republic of Cyprus into the Hellenic Republic. We will do it the same way it joined the EU: by directly integrating the National Guard into the armed forces of Greece – one nation, one army,” he said in his remarks.
Submitting her candidacy, one of the two women candidates, Celestina De Petro said: “We are always fighting for the Cypriots, and step by step we will succeed in the Presidency, I am sure.”
Alexios Savvides said he would seek a solution to the Cyprus problem that is based on one unitary state and does not see the destruction of Cypriot Hellenism. He also called for: “The repayment of fines issued during the health junta of the coronavirus period.”
Addressing the press, Andronikos Zervides said that he has clear solution for the Cyprus problem, and that he has written a 77-page manifesto for the country. “We have many problems, and I believe I have the solutions,” he said.
Giorgos Kolokassides said that a solution of a bizonal, bicommunal federation was against the will of the people, and that previous governments insist on this solution, which will create a partnership with Turkey.
Julia Hovrina Kominos promised to find a solution to the Cyprus problem, continue support for mothers, and would support local manufacturing.
Speaking after signing his nomination, Charalambos Aristotelous said that he would work for the labourers, farmers, and the Cypriot working class.