The AKEL talks & # 8211; DIKO will continue and will most likely be completed by next week. The aim is to find out whether the two parties can finally cooperate in the run-up to the presidency or not. If the answer is no, then Nikolas Papadopoulos will face some difficult dilemmas. So far, Nikolas Papadopoulos and Stefanos Stefanou have had a public meeting and three others away from the limelight.
In the discussion of the two parties so far, six names have been submitted (from three on each side) which are: From AKEL, Achilleas Dimitriadis, Erato Kozakou Markoullis and Tassos Christofidis. From DIKO, Nikolas Papadopoulos, DIKO MP Christiana Erotokritou and former Foreign Minister Markos Kyprianou.
According to our information, here and there of the two parties, for none of the six proposals there is so far unanimity. Nikolas Papadopoulos as party leader does not fall within the preferences of AKEL, by the same logic Christiana is excluded as a top party executive. Both could cross to B & # 8217; round, but not winning options. Markos Kyprianou was proposed, some say to AKEL, from the moment he stated in an interview with Politis that he was not interested. In a meeting with AKEL, he also confirmed his reluctance to run as a candidate.
In the case of Ms. Erotokritou, a source at DIKO states, however, that he does not understand AKEL's stance since some members of his Secretariat suggested that Nikolas Papadopoulos submit the name of Christiana Erotokritou, who is highly regarded in Parliament. with the assurance that, at the very least, it would be acceptable for discussion. DIKO is betting on Mrs. Erotokritou, hoping that an agreement will be reached even at the last minute. Otherwise, according to a source in DIKO, “we have to make some difficult decisions for the future”.
If none of the six names qualify, and if there are no counter-proposals and new names on the table, the most likely scenario, however, according to a party source at DIKO, is that the talks will end nowhere, leaving three scenarios before the party. which are essentially an informal Plan B:
* First, for DIKO to go down to the presidency autonomously with its leader Nikolas Papadopoulos.
* Second, to attempt cooperation of DIKO with some neighboring forces, e.g. EDEK with a common candidate, with Nikolas Papadopoulos as the most probable candidate again. The anti-federal Giorgos Kolokasidis could also be a joint candidate, something that does not particularly bother EDEK, but DIKO wants to maintain its ambiguous support in a solution of a Biconical Bicommunal Federation with the right content.
* Third, DIKO to move center-right for a first round selection, either with Averof Neophytou or Nikos Christodoulidis, if he submits his candidacy at the beginning of April, as it is circulating. In this case, the most probable choice is Nikos Christodoulidis, although if Nikolas could make a decision on a personal level, he would certainly lean towards Averof Neophytou.
Regarding the first and the second scenario, for its implementation Nikolas Papadopoulos has to cross a mountain. In the 2018 presidential election he came down as a candidate and got a percentage of 25.74% which translated into 99,508 votes, but did not pass in the B & # 8217; round. In the 2023 elections, how feasible is it to increase or even maintain this result, bearing in mind that the party has shrunk significantly in the 2021 parliamentary elections? In the parliamentary elections of 2021, DIKO got 11.29% and was voted by 40,395 Voters, presenting a reduction of 3.2%. Of course. The presidential elections are not parliamentary elections, since, in the scenario of the autonomous descent, it is likely that EDEK and other neighboring forces will follow.
When it comes to voting for a center-right candidate in the first round, things are also difficult. The base of DIKO, according to the trend that prevails in the local assemblies of the last weeks, rejects in its majority the cooperation from the first round with DISY. The prevailing opinion among the last supporters of DIKO is that the party can not oppose President Anastasiadis for the last 8 years and in 2023 vote for Averof Neophytou. Also problematic is a collaboration with Nikos Christodoulidis, who in various meetings sends the message that he wants the DIKO voters, but not against & # 8217; need and his leadership, because as executives of his staff say, he does not want to “be charged with the label of leader of the deniers”. On the other hand, according to information, Mr. Christodoulidis – not by & # 8217; need on his own initiative – met with several MPs and DIKO executives. For the leadership of DIKO, there is also a problem of personal ambitions between 49-year-old Nikolas Papadopoulos and 48-year-old Nikos Christodoulidis. Finally, if in the end there is a turn of DIKO towards Christodoulidis, EDEK comes out, which, as some of its executives say, does not vote for the former Foreign Minister.
The political algorithm
Part of the political algorithm that the DIKO leadership must calculate also concerns the attitude that DIPA will observe. Which, logically, awaits the completion of the AKEL-DIKO talks to enter the discussion, initially with AKEL. DIPA does not seem to have a problem, judging by the current stance of Marios Karoyan for a government of national unity or wider acceptance, to discuss with AKEL the finding of a common candidate excluding the political leaderships of the two parties, as requested by the Left party. In this case, there are chances for a joint candidate AKEL-DIPA-Ecologists, something that offers the certainty that this candidate passes to B & # 8217; round of presidential. If this tendency is consolidated in the electorate, it can not be considered at all unlikely that a percentage of DIKO will move to the center-left, since DIKO and DIPA, despite the split that occurred, never stopped operating as communicating vessels. Moreover, the position of Nikolas Papadopoulos that “it will rain, it will snow, we will stand next to the next President of the Republic in 2023”, is not only his own ambition, but has permeated all the political staff of the party, which has accustomed us to such kind of “excesses”.
DIKO in the run-up to the 2023 presidential election seems to have lost its way. All scenarios seem difficult and there is no easy choice.
One thing is for sure: The party base in recent years has become addicted to the party leadership that DIKO is in opposition. Also, several serious party executives claim that it would be an inconsistency on the part of DIKO if it moves in collaborations with candidate friends close to the Anastasiadis government, such as Averof Neophytou and Nikos Christodoulidis. This could be a second round option, provided, of course, that Nikolas Papadopoulos will be the same autonomous candidate. What some say in the party is a meteoric political step that poses a huge risk for both Nikolas Papadopoulos and the party, given that such a candidacy, based on current data, is considered difficult, if not impossible, to pass to B & # 8217 ; round. Consequently, the logic of the lost vote may further shrink the party's percentages. Under these circumstances, coexistence with the opposition parties seems to be the easiest, meaning, of course, that DIKO will be able to go its own way in choosing an independent candidate, laying the foundations for a government of wider acceptance with the participation of AKEL, DIKO, EDEK, Ecologists, maybe DIPA. This may be a winning choice.