An interview to Michalis Michael, published in Haravgi

  • The biggest part of the electorate is not moved by techniques aiming to impress; it has long since adopted an attitude of almost a cold observer.
  • The most important element, which is ideas and meaningful policies, is absent from the debate and is not projected by the candidates.
  • The battle for the vote of DISY supporters will decide not only the difference between Nikos Christodoulides and Averof Neophytou, but also the possibility of Averof Neophytou to make it to the second round.
  • It is quite possible that we will have a phenomenon similar to 2018, with Andreas Mavroyiannis making it to the second round. In the 2018 presidential elections, the picture of Stavros Malas’ progress appeared about 15 days before the election day.

A most important thing is missing from the pre-election campaign for the presidential elections; this is ideas and meaningful, creative politics, states the political analyst Christophoros Christophorou. As far as the electoral programs of the candidates are concerned, he states that we have a repetition of the term “unity” like a well-known candy, by Nikos Christodoulides, who is the candidate supported by two parties DIKO and DIPA – Independents, which are products of a “divorce”, and EDEK, which have been fighting each other for years. He also notes that Averof Neofytou’s proposals are incoherent, while Andreas Mavroyiannis is trying to convince about his own positions. Finally, Mr. Christophorou estimates that in the current conjecture, with most sectors in Cyprus in crisis, the future is ominous.


How do you evaluate the quality of the election campaign so far?

In general, the whole spectrum of the election campaign characteristics is similar to most of the previous ones. Some difference is observed in respect of the large number of televised debates that brought the candidates and their proposals into confrontation.

A noteworthy element is the presence of independent candidates with a complete set of proposals. However, the most important thing is missing, ideas and meaningful, creative policy proposals. It is a perennial problem, but at the present time, with most sectors in crisis, with the Cyprus Problem in a phase where the Greek Cypriot side is in complete loss, this presages an ominous future.

Many believe that this election campaign is boring compared to previous presidential election campaigns.

Its long duration has actually led to a decline in the public’s interest. Technically, there does not seem to have been an escalation of efforts, based on strategic planning and the possibility to reaching a climax. The greater part of the electorate is not moved by techniques attempting to impress, it has long since adopted an almost cold observer attitude.

A characteristic of these elections is that everyone addresses everyone and not the party circle. Was this also true in previous elections?

To some extent we have always had this approach, although appeal to the ideological dimension was a dominant element. Today, with parties’ influence in decline and the fragmentation of political forces, votes of one or two parties alone are insufficient to secure a runoff for a candidate. Even so, however, we again see an intense effort to attract a maximum of votes by putting emphasis on party/ideological identity.

How can this phenomenon be interpreted?

The fragmentation of political forces is related to a variety of factors: The weakening of ideology makes qualification to the second round by party votes alone insecure, while, beyond being attached to ideological factors, voters now belong to many groups, and have for specific and special issues. Each group expects answers to its own priorities, of a general or special interest, even of personal interests.

How has the political stage been shaped so far?

If we take the subject “candidate proposals”, we observe the failure of candidates to avoid presenting proposals that have the form of a “dissertation”, an enumeration of ideas”.

We also have a repetition of the call for “unity”, like a well-known candy, by Nikos Christodoulides. Isn’t it funny that this is projected by a candidate supported by the “divorced” DIKO-DIPA-independents and EDEK who have been fighting each other for years?

We also have incoherent proposals from Averof Neophytou, about NATO and the idea for electing a vice-president or… assistant to the President, as well as the “visitable farms”, a proposal that threatens the environment; he also proposed a subsidy of 8,000 euros to those that suffered a haircut.

Andreas Mavroyiannis is gradually distancing himself from his previous positions and from the “government of corruption”, on the Cyprus Problem, and a solution of two states. This is a hard try to convince.

Independent candidates, such as Achilleas Demetriades, Konstantinos Christofides and Giorgos Kolokasides, do present worthy proposals, but it remains to convince that they are capable and have the means to implement them.

Generally, this is a picture of candidates on a “mission impossible”.

Do you agree that until now no chance was given to discuss issues that are burning and concern the citizen?

Of course! There has been no convincing proposal for corruption. Nothing about the administration of justice, where delays are a springboard for local and state authorities to breech the law. No substantial proposal to fix institutions and above all what will be done with the appointment of the Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General, which in direct conflict with every concept of the rule of law. The separation of powers proposal is not sufficient. Even more important, no convincing proposal was made on the Cyprus Problem. Do they not realize how critical a problem we are facing when we all realize it? The Greek Cypriot side has lost everything because of the unreliability of the President and his handlings, as well as the handlings by his former Foreign Minister.

What issues should the candidates focus on until the end of the election?

Let’s let the candidates decide, find out what it is good for the country!


Christoforos Christophorou has been studying and following the electoral processes in Cyprus for many years. Since 2001, he has been operating the EKLEKTOR website, with material on electoral contests from 1959 to the present day, including data concerning the Turkish Cypriot community, interactive maps and graphs.

The institutional framework, the organisation of the State and electoral systems are the basic building blocks of the website. Access to the site is open to all.

Polls show large percentages of undecided or unsure about voting. Can anyone predict the course that things will take until the 5th of February when the presidential elections will be held?

An intense effort is expected from everyone and some crystallization of trends. Prospects for overturning what we have seen so far, the supremacy of Christodoulides in terms of support, even if the polls indicate that large numbers of voters are undecided or even unsure about participating in the polls. Let’s also not forget the weakening of party machines and voter distrust.

In other words, can anyone be certain at this point who will make it to the 2nd round?

It is risky to assume that Christodoulides will not be in the second round. At this time (Thursday morning) polls are underway. They will be indicative of the actual picture and what will follow. The fight for securing the votes of DISY supporters will determine not only the difference between N. Christodoulides and Averof Neophytou, but also the chances for Neophytou to make it to the second round.

It is quite possible, however, that we will have a phenomenon similar to 2018, with Andreas Mavroyiannis making it to the second round. In the 2018 presidential elections, the picture of Stavros Malas’ progress became apparent about 15 days before the election.