The future of Disy remains to be seen as to how the party will handle the exclusion of its party leader Averof Neophytou from the final round of presidential elections, against his main rival, former Disy member Nikos Christodoulides.
Speaking to reporters after the results, Neophytou made clear Disy’s unity would not be damaged by the results – though it is hard to know whether these were words for the press or if there was enough knowledge there to support his claim.
Neophytou called Christodoulides, as well as Andreas Mavroyiannis who made it to the runoff, about half an hour before the results were out to congratulate them. Neophytou then headed to meet President Nicos Anastasiades at the presidential palace. He did not comment on what had actually been discussed though he said it was standard that the two would discuss the results.
Pundits however remain doubtful. A large part of Neophytou’s campaign has been marred by the question as to where Anastasiades’ loyalty actually lay – behind his party leader Neophytou or his former aide Christodoulides?
After a public spat, Anastasiades said his weight was behind Neophytou though how genuine that is has been questioned by many.
Christodoulides said the first thing he will do on Monday will be to call Neophytou to arrange a meeting, as well as Anastasiades. He told reporters he had spoken to Anastasiades over the results but remained evasive over the details.
Questions on whether Anastasiades will ask Neophytou to back Christodoulides are abundant however Neophytou stressed the decision will depend on Disy’s “democratic and collective procedures” which are set to begin on Monday.
Paphos mayor Phedonas Phedonos, a Disy member, was quick to announce that the party should be backing Mavroyiannis. Though Christodoulides has secured many Disy votes, there are many who see him squarely responsible for splitting up the party, after he decided to run as a candidate calling himself as an independent – but also a Disy member. He was subsequently struck from the party after he officially submitted his candidacy in January.
“Disy members need to keep their heads high because they remained committed and defended principles which sooner or later they will be justified for. The decision for the next day is a collective one,” Neophytou highlighted.
“One thing is certain: Disy will remain united and strong.”