The first post-Makarios presidential election to be contested took place in February 1983. Several changes to the political and party scene had preceded it. The coalition that united AKEL, DIKO and EDEK and left the Democratic Rally (27.6% of the vote) out of parliament in 1976 had split. Key DIKO split up from the party in 1980, and founded their own parties. They all failed to elect an MP in 1981. Serious friction between President Spyros Kyprianou and the AKEL leadership started in 1980, with the latter accusing the President for inconsistency in the handling of the Cyprus Problem and other issues. There was also a rift between the President and Archbishop Chrysostomos, the successor of Makarios. Media reports alleged that the archbishop was favoring Andreas Azinas, a longtime associate of Makarios and strong man of the Co-operative movement, as a likely candidate for the presidency. Within a few months, Azinas was accused of wrongdoings and corruption in his management of the Co-operative movement and imprisoned.

AKEL started revising its relations with President Kyprianou and DIKO soon after the May 1981 parliamentary elections. AKEL won the first place with 32.8%, DISY followed with 31.8% and DIKO came third with 19.5%. A process of rapprochement between the two parties resulted in a co-operation agreement for the 1983 presidential election that aimed at re-electing Spyros Kyprianou. The “minimum cooperation program”, signed in April 1982, summarized the terms and principles that the partners would follow.

The signing of the “minimum” triggered a rift in the relations between Spyros Kyprianou and the PASOK government in Greece and Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou, who had paid an official visit to Cyprus two months earlier. Similar problems also arose between the President and Archbishop Chrysostomos.

A by- election to fill the vacant seat held by a deceased DISY MP, Dr Costas Hadjikakou in Famagusta constituency, in August 1982, could be seen as a rehearsal for the allied parties and their prospects in the presidential elections. The DIKO candidate, backed by AKEL, won the election with 54.5%, receiving about one point more than the respective percentage of the two parties, in May 1981.
To meet the minimum program requirements, President Kyprianou visited Moscow and met with Leonid Brezhnev at the end of October 1982. It was the last public appearance of the SG of the USSR Communist Party and President of the Supreme Soviet. He passed away a few days later.
Spyros Kyprianou’s election campaign used simple slogans for progress and for a better future. Propaganda  material by the DIKO-AKEL co-operation, as well as publications of the government machine, highlighted the achievements of the Kyprianou government.

Through advertising and in articles in the newspapers of the allied parties, an attempt without precedent was made to present Glafkos Clerides as untrustworthy and dangerous for the country. A few days before the election, the smearing effort reached its most extreme political immorality with a report that transited through the Presidential Palace in Cyprus into an Athens newspaper, Ethnos. Forged documents were showing Glafcos Clerides as a Nazi agent, a man who in fact was a RAF pilot captured by the Nazis when his plane was shot down over the Balkans.
Glafcos Clerides used the almond tree in his campaign posters, hinting at change and the coming of spring, projecting himself as the great guarantee, the one who would democratize the country. He also promoted his candidacy by reproducing praises spelled or written by AKEL officials and others for successfully managing the great crisis that followed the Turkish Military Invasion of 1974. He also reproduced AKEL’s negative comments and criticism of Spyros Kyprianou, in 1980.

Vassos Lyssarides followed in his campaign the baseline and representations used by PASOK and Andreas Papandreou in the elections of 1981. He presented a full-blown but exaggeratingly promising campaign. The key message of “Lyssarides has the power to …” was combined with a number of topics to handle, the Cyprus Problem, political, social and other issues. A symbolic  rainbow on the posters was presented with a limited number of colors, namely orange, red and violet.

The result of the election came as no surprise. Spyros Kyprianou won the election and a second term in the first round, with 56.5%, Glafkos Clerides secured 33.9% and Vassos Lyssarides 9.5%.