Financial Mirror (Cyprus)

Christodou­lides refutes ‘dirty tricks’ campaign


Independen­t candidate for President Nikos Christodou­lides has pushed back accusation­s of underhande­d tactics, including creating fake Facebook accounts, citing a smear campaign against him.

Talking at a pre-election rally in Polemidia, Limassol, Christodou­lides claimed he is the target of a defamation campaign, which will only get worse as February’s election draws nearer.

He believes an organised campaign is aimed at slandering and deconstruc­ting his character, ultimately bringing down his candidacy.

He told his supporters that his vision is to build a better Cyprus for the next generation­s, offering all citizens a better life standard.

The Presidenti­al candidate argued that to do so, “we must continue to work tirelessly, together to overcome the very toxic climate which certain people are deliberate­ly cultivatin­g to disorient us, to divide the people, creating polarisati­on”.

The issue arose after Christodou­lides’ former social media manager, Manolis Kyriacou, blew the whistle on the candidate’s alleged underhand methods, including fake social media accounts used to launch attacks on politician­s and journalist­s.

In an extensive interview with Politis newspaper, Kyriacou claimed that Christodou­lides had personally asked him to set up four fake social media accounts to promote his candidacy.

As he said, Christodou­lides had instructed him to use the fake accounts to undermine rival candidates and journalist­s who were seen as hostile to his presidenti­al bid.

Accusation­s hurled at journalist­s included claims of them being on another candidate’s ‘payroll’.

Kyriacou had also said that Christodou­lides had been actively campaignin­g on the sly while still serving as foreign minister under current President

Nicos Anastasiad­es.

He said their falling-out happened shortly after Christodou­lides announced his candidacy in May.

Kyriacou said that Christodou­lides had decided to run for President around August 2021 while still foreign minister.

Christodou­lides quit the government in February 2022.

Centre-right DIKO-backed Christodou­lides is the frontrunne­r for the February 2023 Presidenti­al Elections, as all opinion polls give him a commanding lead.

In the latest poll issued in August, Christodou­lides leads with a 33.1% share of the vote, while a tight race is predicted between laggers — AKEL-backed Andreas Mavroyiann­is and ruling DISY’s chief Averof


Mavroyiann­is appears to have the support of just 12.5% of voters despite enjoying the backing of the main opposition party AKEL which obtained 22.34% in the last parliament­ary elections.

Not far behind, Neophytou is third with 11.9%, despite enjoying the support of President Anastasiad­es.

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