Paphos mayor Phedonas Phedonos has uploaded to social media a video clip from 2008 where President Nicos Anastasiades – then the leader of the Disy party – does not rule out partnering up with Akel in the upcoming presidential elections of that year.
The mayor used the old video as ammunition for his own proposal that Disy should back Akel’s Andreas Mavroyiannis in the runoff against ‘independent’ candidate Nikos Christodoulides.
The video depicts Anastasiades on a television show, aired before the February 2008 elections, where he tells reporters they should “not rule out anything”.
Anastasiades was arguing that Disy might partner up with Akel in the second round of those elections to defeat the incumbent Tassos Papadopoulos should the latter progress to the runoff as opinion polls suggested at the time.
This would be regardless of whether Disy presidential candidate Ioannis Kasoulides made it to the runoff.
“So it’s not a sin when Diko cooperates with Akel, but it’s a sin when Disy does?” Anastasiades asks rhetorically.
He went on to speak of “a time of historic breaches”.
As it happened, a possible collaboration between Disy and Akel did not prove necessary, as in a surprise result Papadopoulos was eliminated from the race in the first round. Akel’s Demetris Christofias and Disy’s Kasoulides then squared off in the runoff, with the former ultimately winning the election.
Phedonos used the video to show that even Anastasiades had been open to working with Akel, as he himself is now.
“To those in the Christodoulides camp who now hurl abuse at me [for proposing that Disy back Mavroyiannis], do they dare say the same things about President Anastasiades, or is that not convenient for them now?”
It was a dare to detractors to lash out at Anastasiades, who reportedly wants Disy to side with Christodoulides.
“Let them [i.e. critics] understand this: my proposal is political in nature. And let it be noted that Andreas Mavroyiannis is neither the leader of Akel, nor even a leftist.”
Phedonos was among the first Disy cadres to propose that his party side with Mavroyiannis, following the elimination of Averof Neophytou from the race.
Just minutes after the final result came out on Sunday, Phedonos tweeted out: “The ballot for the first round has spoken. The result is respected, and it sends a clear message. My recommendation to the Political Bureau of Disy will be to support Andreas Mavroyiannis for his principles and integrity.”
To which one person responded sardonically: “50 per cent of Paphos has voted for Christodoulides. So will you listen to your voters, or will you stay bitter?”
Phedonos’ stance reflects a divide within Disy as the party grapples with whom to support ahead of the second round of voting this coming Sunday.
Disy’s Political Bureau was set to meet later on Tuesday to decide whom to back.