The election of Andreas Mavroyiannis will not signal Akel’s return to power, the party’s general secretary said on Tuesday, as the push to garner supporters from a split Disy continued.
Mavroyiannis is also expected to announce his finance minister tomorrow in a bid to demonstrate that ministerial posts will not necessarily be Akel cadres.
Akel’s general secretary Stefanos Stefanou told CyBC that the party went out of its way to back a candidate that does not actually belong to the left. Mavroyiannis is an independent and the fact that Akel supports him is in an indication that the party is prioritising the country and society, Stefanou said.
A member of Mavroyiannis’ campaign team Charalambos Prountzos told Politis that the finance minister would not be from Akel’s ranks. He added that during Monday’s 40-minute meeting between Mavroyiannis and Disy leader Averof Neophytou, the latter made it clear that the order of his priorities are the Cyprus problem, the economy and social matters.
Asked if Mavroyiannis would be oriented towards western policies, Prountzos highlighted the candidate belongs to Europeanist schools that include Glafcos Clerides, Ioannis Kassoulides and George Vassiliou.
The presidential elections run-off will be fought out between Mavroyiannis and former Disy member Nikos Christodoulides this Sunday. This left Neophytou out of the running, leaving many Disy members bitter about Christodoulides, whom they see as betraying the party.
This is largely because he announced his candidacy as an independent – rather than going through the party – but continued to call himself a member of Disy, despite his candidacy running rival to that of party leader Neophytou.
It has effectively split the party which finds itself in a conundrum over who it will back this Sunday. Certain high-profile Disy members such as Christos Pourgourides and Chris Triantafyllides have openly said supporting Christodoulides would be a bad idea, as it would reward his behaviour.
Pourgourides also said that in line with focusing on the Cyprus problem, Disy should not be afraid to back Mavroyiannis. Just because Akel backs him does not mean Disy cannot. “We should get rid of these stereotypes.”
Certain quarters of Disy are also irked with President Nicos Anastasiades, who is pushing for his party to support Christodoulides. In a meeting where he encouraged Disy ministers to back Christodoulides, many snubbed the president and walked out of the meeting.