Statements by the General Secretary of AKEL Stefanos Stefanou

8 January 2022, AKEL C.C. Press Office, Nicosia

On the Presidential Elections:

QUESTION: How is AKEL proceeding with regards the 2023 presidential elections?

SS: AKEL has its own procedures and of course we will follow these procedures. They include discussion in the leadership bodies, discussion with the people of the Party – members and friends and new forces. The process will be completed at some point with the convening of an extraordinary Pancyprian Congress where the final decisions will be made.

Until then, however, we certainly need to see with other parties if we can find common ground so that we can forge a cooperation for the presidential elections. That is what we shall seek. You realise, however, that for AKEL, these collaborations will not be general and vague. They will have substance. There must be a convergence and consensus on core issues which will also determine the course of our country and society.

At the same time, apart from discussions with other opposition parties, we shall also conduct this dialogue with our own people. We have decided a timetable which we have not breached. At the same time, however, the processes are also affected by what is happening across the political spectrum and by how quickly the procedures are progressing within. I believe that we will soon have more developments in relation to the efforts that are being made in the run-up to the presidential elections. What is certain is that AKEL will take its decisions in time.

QUESTION: Are proceeding according to a specific timetable?

SS: We have decided a specific timetable which, you realise, has a certain relativity, because you can’t predict all developments, what you will actually face and what else will come up.

However, we do have a timetable to take our decision in spring, which means that we will have ample time in view of the 2023 presidential elections to carry out the necessary work.

QUESTION: When will the dialogue with the other parties start?

SS: The other parties must be adequately prepared as well as we are. At least as far as we are concerned, you understand that we have to have the political framework within which we can move. We have to have our decisions on how far we can go in these cooperations and the same, you understand, applies to the other parties. However, it is my conviction – because events are happening anyway – that we will soon have the opportunity to have such contacts with other opposition parties who understand, just like we understand too, the need for progressive change.
QUESTION: Do the inter-party clashes within ruling DISY party benefit AKEL or will they not influence AKEL’s choices?

SS: Of course they will not influence AKEL’s choices. From there onwards, you understand that each party follows its own procedures, people are watching us and judging us. I am not going to weigh in on what is happening at DISY. We will continue to just do our own job. But I repeat that of course we are following what is going on – woe if we were not. You realise that the political scene is changeable and we, besides the specific objectives we have set, the main one is to create the right preconditions that would maximise the possibility and potential of achieving progressive change during the election. We are taking into account the bigger picture and all the data.

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