Former Cyprus problem chief negotiator Andreas Mavroyiannis launched his campaign to become president, calling on Cypriots to back his independent candidacy, promising a progressive change in power.
Mavroyiannis’ announcement is no surprise, as he had received the backing of left-wing AKEL, the country’s main opposition party.
AKEL members delivered a 90% approval of Mavroyiannis’ candidacy in February 2023.
The launch of his campaign had been slotted in for last week, following an extraordinary AKEL congress, but it was postponed as a mark of respect for the passing of Labour Minister Zeta Emilianidou.
“I warmly thank AKEL, the biggest opposition party in the country, for its decision to support me and its consistent commitment to real progressive change and not just a procedural switch in power,” said Mavroyiannis.
The former negotiator believes that his candidacy can unite other political and social forces and groups of civil society in a bid to bring better times for the country.
“We will fight with resolute energy, inspiration and determination that our homeland can, must and has the right to experience better days”.
Referring to the Cyprus problem, Mavroyiannis said that efforts must finally be intensified towards a resolution.
“We must finally resolve the Cyprus problem with a peaceful and just solution,” said Mavroyiannis, making clear references to a bi-zonal, bi-communal, federal solution with political equality, “for the benefit of all Cypriots”.
“Division cannot continue to nullify the dynamics of the reunification of Cyprus and its people.
“We owe it to all our people, we owe it to our dead, to our missing and their relatives – we also owe it to our Turkish Cypriot compatriots who will have their rights reinstated in a united Cyprus.”
He argued that only through a viable solution could the economy truly prosper, sharply increasing healthy and sustainable investment while further enhancing Cyprus’ role in other sectors.
Mavroyiannis also said he would work to introduce a new energy mix model that would create a solid foundation for growth based on a green economy.
Born in 1956, Mavroyiannis was involved full time in the Cyprus peace process serving as Nicosia’s negotiator for the Greek-Cypriot side since 1 September 2013 under President Nicos Anastasiades.
He 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 responsibility for preparing and running the Cyprus Presidency of the EU Council in the second half of 2012.
He was the Permanent Representative of Cyprus to the United Nations from July 2019 to February 2021.
The diplomat joins many candidates, including ruling DISY leader Averof Neophytou, and former Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides, running as an independent candidate despite his DISY affiliation.
Neophytou was unanimously ratified as his party’s presidential candidate in March.
The junior opposition party, the centrist DIKO, has yet to back any candidate, with its decision expected in the coming days.
Reports say the party is close to endorsing Christodoulides’ candidacy.
Also running is Achilleas Demetriades, a well-known human rights lawyer with a pro-solution campaign.
Another candidate in the mix is prominent lawyer Marios Eliades an independent candidate with his campaign targeting corruption within the government and political system.
There is no lack of lawyers for the presidency in 2023, as George Colocassides, a former deputy chair of DIKO, is also running.
Constantinos Christofides, a former rector of the University of Cyprus, has also recently announced his candidacy.