NewsLocalBattle is on between leading candidates in Sunday's presidential election run-off

Battle is on between leading candidates in Sunday’s presidential election run-off

The result of the first-round vote in Sunday’s presidential election in Cyprus has set up an intriguing battle between the two leading candidates who failed to poll enough votes to win it outright.

Both Nikos Christodoulides and Andreas Mayroyiannis now have a few days to convince voters in Sunday’s second round that they have the vision to conquer a complex web of problems.

And they both started ‘flirting’ with right-wing Disy whose candidate – their leader Averof Neophytou – came third and left the ruling party out of the race and in the role of kingmaker.

Everyone now is waiting for the decision of the Disy political bureau which is set to meet on Tuesday evening.

Disy, being the biggest party, has the dilemma of either backing Christodoulides, who stood against his own party and defeated the Disy candidate. Or got for Mavroyiannis, the candidate of opposition left-wing Akel which is seen as the old enemy.

President Nicos Anastasiades held meetings with the Disy leadership on Sunday night and Monday morning with insiders saying his message was that Akel should not be allowed to come in power.

But this means the party should back Christodoulides, who had served as his government spokesman and foreign minister, and this is proposal that was not well-received.

There is a lot of anger in Disy about Christodoulides’ behaviour – he completely ignored his party’s decision about the elections and stood as a so-called independent, backed by opposition parties, Edek, Diko and Dipa.

This move had plundered Disy votes, dealing a big blow to Neophytou’s candidacy, and should not be rewarded with the backing of the party in the run-off.

As for Mavroyiannis, he was the first to meet Disy’s top brass on Monday afternoon.

The meeting lasted 40 minutes with both Neophytou and Mavroyiannis agreeing not to make statements to the press.

However, deputy leader Haris Georgiades told CyBC radio earlier in the day that the situation that has been created is very difficult.

And that the party’s electoral failure must be managed in a way that will keep Disy united and strong.

A call on Disy voters to choose themselves who they will back in Sunday’s run-off is not ruled out.

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