Former Diko chairman Marios Garoyian accused the current chairman, Nicolas Papadopoulos, of winning the leadership by rigging the vote during the party’s electoral congress in December 2013.
Garoyian, who was ousted from the party immediately after last month’s presidential poll in which Papadopoulos failed to make the runoff, said there had been “widespread vote rigging in the Paphos district, which is now a common secret.”
Garoyian had raised the matter at the time but he then let it drop without further explanation.
“For the good of the party, I decided not to report to justice, the tampering with which the leadership of the party had been usurped,” he told a news conference.
Garoyian said he was naïve to believe that after achieving its goals, the Papadopoulos leadership would seek to restore unity and calm and start an internal dialogue to heal the wounds.
Instead, the party was dominated by the vengefulness, arrogance, and impudence of a small group of friends of the chairman who were detached from the party base.
“Their exclusive objective was control of the party and use it as a vehicle to serve personal ambitions,” Garoyian said.
After that, Diko abandoned the government coalition citing differences with President Nicos Anastasiades on the handling of the Cyprus problem.
Garoyian suggested the disagreements were nothing but a pretext to enable Papadopoulos to pave the way for his candidacy in 2018.
“He ignored the need to manage the unprecedented economic crisis; he ignored the national interests, which should have been the priority at the start of the process to resolve the Cyprus problem.”
Papadopoulos abandoned the battle and ignored the need for political stability, turning the party into an advocate of negativity and populism, Garoyian said.
He also called for the reinstatement of party members expelled for supposedly supporting Anastasiades in February.
The party responded saying its former chairman chose not to apologise to the people of Diko over his choices, engaging instead in an attack against Diko and its supporters.
“The professor of political opportunism who hurt the credibility and image of the Democratic Party, is not entitled to accuse the party’s collective bodies, whose decisions safeguarded its dignity and restored its enduring values,” Diko said in a statement.
Garoyian had years to raise the issues before the party’s bodies and seek their adoption through the democratic procedures stipulated by the charter, Diko said.
Instead, he turned his back, and even worse, he chose to undermine the objectives of the party and the interests of its members and voters.
“The climax was the support of a different candidate in the presidential elections when the candidacy of the Diko chairman was supported by almost all the parties of the centre.”