Cyprus party refuses to back candidate in presidential race

Cypriot Presidential candidate and leader of the center-right DIKO party Nicolas Papadopoulos escorted by his family votes in presidential elections in capital Nicosia, on Sunday, Jan. 28, 2018. Cypriots are voting for a new president they hope will overcome years of failure to resolve the island-nation's ethnic division and deliver more benefits from an economy on the rebound after a severe financial crisis. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

NICOSIA, Cyprus — Leaders of a major Cyprus political party decided Tuesday that they won't support either the incumbent or his left-wing challenger in the runoff of the country's presidential election.

The executive bureau of center-right DIKO said that endorsing either President Nicos Anastasiades or independent Stavros Malas would be a reversal of the party's stance on reunification talks with the divided nation's breakaway Turkish Cypriots.

The party's candidate in the election's first round on Sunday advocated a tougher line in the peace talks, saying Anastasiades and Malas would concede too much to the Turkish side.

The bureau says backing either runoff contender would diminish DIKO's credibility and be "disrespectful" to voters who cast ballots for party leader Nicholas Papadopoulos. He received more than one-quarter of the vote.

DIKO's central committee is expected to ratify the bureau's decision, which throws an element of uncertainty into the Feb. 4 runoff.

Anastasiades and Malas — who garnered 35.5 and 30.2 of the vote respectively — hoped to secure DIKO's support, as well as win over voters from a coalition of smaller parties that backed Papadopoulos' candidacy.

Cyprus was split into Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot in 1974 when Turkey invaded following a coup by supporters of uniting with Greece. Turkey still has more than 35,000 troops stationed in the breakaway north.

U.N.-mediated talks to reunify the island nation collapsed in July over what Anastasiades said was Turkey's insistence on maintain a troop presence and the right to intervene military on behalf of Turkish Cypriots.

Malas, who's running as an independent but is supported by the communist AKEL party, said he would resume the talks where they left off .

Anastasiades has pledged to work on restarting the negotiations, but said he knows "the limits" of what Greek Cypriots would accept.

People also read these

Thousands protest in Armenia's capital as talks...

Apr 25, 2018

Tens of thousands of opposition supporters surged into the central square of the Armenian capital,...

The Latest: Armenia lawmakers reject opposition...

May 1, 2018

The Armenian parliament has voted against naming protest leader Nikol Pashinian as the country's...

AP Interview: Pashinian warns Armenia not to...

May 2, 2018

The opposition leader spearheading weeks of protest in Armenia warned the government Wednesday not...

Armenia gets new leader, man who spearheaded the...

May 8, 2018

The man who spearheaded weeks of protests in Armenia was chosen to be the country's prime minister...

Austria's left-leaning winner new presidential is...

Jan 26, 2017

Austria's new president has called for a tolerant and diverse nation free of ideological and racial...

Sign up now!

About Us

24-7 Reporters publishes up-to-the-minute news 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Our certified reporters are among the most experienced, well-trained and talented across the globe, covering issues resonating progressives in every corner of the world.

Contact us: sales[at]24-7reporters.com