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Christodoulides stays mum as presidential candidates offer funding details (Updated)

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Nikos Christodoulides on the campaign trail

Transparency has become a buzzword in the upcoming presidential elections – but some of the candidates are failing to adhere to it fully, while others are simply going for the stony silence approach.

With independent candidate Achilleas Demetriades being the latest to publish his detailed funding for the election campaign, presidential hopeful Nikos Christodoulides is left as one of the ‘bigger’ candidates that has yet to reveal any details as to the source of his election funds.

Starting from October 2021 until January 31 this year, Demetriades has spent €345,000 for his campaign. Specifically, €295,000 came out of his own funds while €50,000 from his supporters.

His advertising costs amounted to just short of €190,000 and his operational costs at almost €160,000.

“We support transparency and practise what we preach,” his spokesman told the Cyprus Mail.

Meanwhile, Disy candidate Averof Neophytou’s spokesman offered a two-sentence response on Wednesday saying the party had been given €400,000 and by January 30, “additional funds” amounted to €396,000. No private or company donation exceeded €50,000 the response said.

But Christodoulides, running as an independent with the backing of centre parties, has stayed completely mum on where the funding for his strong presidential campaign stems from.

Over the weekend, Politis ran a story claiming Columbia Shipmanagement Ltd had transferred €200,000 to his personal account.

Christodoulides has neither commented on the funds nor in fact, responded to requests from Politis to divulge where his funding is coming from. Christodoulides makes a particularly interesting case as he stated he had not received “a single cent” from the parties backing him.

Costas Christofides, also running as an independent, shared with Politis that his pre-election campaign amounted to approximately €110,000.

The breakdown of these figures is €20,000 from a concert organised by his team, €20,000 from friends and supporters, €20,000 from his New Wave movement contribution, €10,000 of Cypriots in the diaspora, €10,000 from a Cypriot scientist living in Boston whom he did not name and €30,000 that came out of Christofides’ own personal funds.

Mavroyiannis’ funds, which were released a day earlier, revealed €510,000 from Akel, plus €408,000 from “other donors” (amounts over €10,000), dated January 31, 2023.

The “other donors” include an individual named Andreas Rialas (€55,000), a company called Masterstar Trading Ltd (€50,000), and the Cyprus Union of Shipowners (€50,000).

Panicos Papanikolaou was listed as donating €31,000, Laiko Cosmos Trading Ltd with €13,000, Takis Vasiotis Ltd with €13,000 and Laiko Manufacturing & Trading Ltd, Loel Viomichanoi Ltd and Filippos Filis with €10,000 respectively.

Last month, independent presidential candidate Georgios Colocassides revealed that his team has spent €145,712 on the election campaign, as he called on all others in the race to detail their spending.

He opened the can of worms during a televised debate where he said big parties were getting state funding but independent candidates got zilch from the government – leaving the onus on Christodoulides to explain where his financing was coming from.

 

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