AKEL, DIKO unable to agree on 2023 Presidential Election

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The latest attempt of the two largest opposition parties to form an alliance ahead of the Presidential Elections in 2023 has collapsed; communists AKEL and centre-right DIKO cannot agree on a common candidate.

The latest development is no surprise as differences of opinion on the Cyprus problem had been a major thorn in the relationship between AKEL and DIKO, which takes a more hardline stance.

The end of their possible collaboration was announced earlier this week, with the two parties already turning to alternatives.

DIKO seems to be moving towards endorsing former Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides.

Christodoulides announced his candidacy earlier in the year, breaking lines with his party, the ruling DISY.

Reports say that DIKO will officially announce its support to the former foreign minister after the Easter holidays.

And DIKO breakaway party DIPA, headed by former DIKO leader Marios Karoyian, is also considering supporting Christodoulides.

A small number of DIKO members have reportedly argued in favour of DISY’s candidate Averof Neophytou.

However, supporting the leader of ruling DISY could be counterproductive as DIKO has labelled the Anastasiades’ administration the most corrupt government in Cyprus’ history.

On the other hand, AKEL has turned inwards to discuss candidates that could attract wider to bring about a change in government following 10 years under DISY and Nicos Anastasiades.

AKEL will also sound out other opposition parties searching for an alliance, such as social democrats EDEK, DIPA, and the Greens.

It could get behind independent Achilleas Demetriades, the son of the late Nicosia Mayor Lellos Demetriades, also known for his progressive thinking on the Cyprus problem.

AKEL is considering supporting people from the centre or left, such as the rector of the University of Cyprus Tasos Christofides, former Foreign Minister Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis, former lawyer Achilles Yiannis Panayiotou and economist Stelios Platis.

Another candidate in the mix is prominent lawyer Marios Eliades also running as an independent candidate with his campaign targeting corruption within the government and political system.

The 77-year-old lawyer was former Transport Minister under the late President Spyros Kyprianou from 1978 to 1980.

AKEL leader Stefanos Stefanou told CyBC that his party had not closed the door to DIKO, noting that both parties are on the same page in their desire to change the government.