NewsLocalAfter heated deliberations, opposition Akel picks Mavroyiannis as presidential candidate-UPDATED

After heated deliberations, opposition Akel picks Mavroyiannis as presidential candidate-UPDATED

After two days of heated deliberations main opposition Akel’s central committee have voted in favour of career diplomat Andreas Mavroyiannis being their presidential candidate for the island’s February 2023 elections.

Mavroyiannis, former chief negotiator on the Cyprus problem up until a couple of weeks ago, got 52 votes to 37 ones by human rights legal expert Achilleas Demetriades who is running as an independent anyway. There were also nine abstentions.

Mavroyiannis now has to be ratified at the party’s extraordinary congress on June 5.

Akel Secretary General Stefanos Stefanou on Monday justified the majority decision telling state radio Mavroyiannis is the person who can achieve a wider consensus.

And that Akel is capable of winning the upcoming election with Mavroyiannis – a person with experience and social sensitivities.

He also dismissed criticism over the fact that Mavroyiannis – up until a few weeks ago when he submitted his resignation – was a close aide of President Nicos Anastasiades whom the opposition accuse of complete failure over the Cyprus problem’s handling.

Stefanou said Mavroyiannis was a high-calibre diplomat appointed as chief negotiator because of his strong qualifications.

“He was not the one taking final decisions, he was not the President,” Stefanou also said before disclosing that Mavroyiannis had submitted his resignation to the President on more than one occasion. But he refused to elaborate.

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