Saturday, 11 February 2023
More than half of the candidates in the Presidential elections in south Cyprus have said that they would resume the Cyprus talks if elected, according to the Greek Cypriot press, Turkish Daily Sabbah reports.
The last series of negotiations broke down when the Greek Cypriot side abandoned that table in 2017.
Front runner in the runoff for the presidential elections in the south to be held this Sunday, Nikos Christodoulides (Independent), has said that there needs to be more active participation from the EU in the Cyprus problem.
Career diplomat Andreas Mavroyiannis, 66, who served under incumbent President Anastasiades as his chief negotiator in peace talks with the TRNC, has appealed to voters by assuring he would call on guarantor countries in the Cyprus issue for a return to the negotiating and send a letter to the permanent members of the UN Security Council.
Meanwhile, Averof Neophytou, 61, who took over the leadership of the country’s largest Democratic Rally party from outgoing Nikos Anastasiades, claimed he would use “the energy card” for federation-based talks and nominate the Greek Cypriot administration for NATO membership.
All three candidates also believe that the Greek National Guard should be equipped with modern and intelligent weapon systems. In addition, they think that the country’s defence budget for 2023 should be over 200 million euros ($216.50 million).
*The Greek Cypriot Presidential elections were held on Sunday, 5 February. Since no candidate received a majority of the vote, a runoff will be held on Sunday, 12 February.
Incumbent President Nicos Anastasiades of the Democratic Rally, who won the presidential elections in 2013 and 2018, is ineligible to run due to the two-term limit mandated by the Constitution of Cyprus.
In the first round, independent candidate Nikos Christodoulides, supported by DIKO, EDEK, DIPA and Solidarity, secured 32.04%, coming first.
Coming second was Independent candidate Andreas Mavroyiannis, supported by the left-wing party AKEL, exceeded all predictions by gaining a surprising 29.59% of the votes.
Averof Neofytou, president of the centre-right Democratic Rally [DISY], has secured 26.11% of the votes, finishing third in the first round. [Wiki]