AKEL backs Andreas Mavroyiannis in 2023 Presidential race

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Former Cyprus problem negotiator Andreas Mavroyiannis is AKEL’s choice of candidate for the Presidential elections in February 2023.

Following a two-day session, the left main opposition party’s political bureau decided to back Mavroyiannis to defeat the ruling right-wing DISY, which has been in power since 2013 with President Nicos Anastasiades.

AKEL’s politburo decided to back Mavroyiannis, choosing the former negotiator over Achilleas Demetriades, the son of the late Nicosia Mayor Lellos Demetriades, also known for his progressive thinking on the Cyprus problem.

Human rights lawyer Demetriades has already announced his independent candidacy and is running a campaign focusing on a solution to the Cyprus problem.

The majority decision will be tabled before AKEL’s Central Committee for approval on Saturday.

Talking to AKEL-affiliated Astra Radio, Eleni Mavrou, a member of AKEL’s politburo, confirmed that a choice had been made between Achilleas Demetriades and Andreas Mavroyiannis but did not reveal who.

AKEL’s political bureau issued a statement saying that it had made its choice but also didn’t say which one.

“Regarding the person who will be the party’s candidate, the political bureau has discussed the choices of two personalities: Andreas Mavroyiannis and Achilleas Dimitriades.

“Both can represent the demand for a progressive change of government and the expectations of the vast majority of society for a new beginning at all levels in our country,” AKEL announced.

Its central committee is expected to ratify Mavroyiannis’ candidacy at a meeting scheduled for 7 and 8 May, then refer to grassroots organisations for approval.

The final decision will be taken at the party’s extraordinary Conference on 5 June.

Born in 1956, Andreas Mavroyiannis was involved full time in the Cyprus peace process serving as Nicosia’s negotiator for the Greek-Cypriot since 1 September 2013 under President Anastasiades.

Mavroyiannis also served under the late President Demetris Christofias, former AKEL General Secretary.

Between October 2011 and January 2013, Mavroyiannis was Deputy Minister to the President of Cyprus for European Affairs.

His portfolio included the overall responsibility for preparing and running the Cyprus Presidency of the Council of the EU in the second half of 2012.

He has also served as Permanent Representative of Cyprus to the United Nations from July 2019 to February 2021.