COALITION partner DIKO has received over 19,000 new applications for membership ahead of internal party leadership elections this December, which if accepted, will almost double the number of existing registered members.
DIKO MP Fytos Constantinou said yesterday that the party would examine the applications in the next 15 days to determine how many of the applicants fulfilled the criteria set out in the party’s charter.
Valid applications will be included in the party’s electoral roll, giving new members the right to vote in the party leadership elections on December 1, 2013.
According to Constantinou, 19,104 applications to become registered DIKO party members were received in total.
“The number of existing party members in the central registry comes to 21,496.”
The DIKO MP put the almost doubling of party members down to the momentum created by the upcoming internal elections and the wider political interest in developments at DIKO.
The two main contenders for the party leadership are incumbent leader Marios Garoyian and DIKO MP Nicolas Papadopoulos.
The race to register new members is believed to be a direct result of the two contenders’ efforts to be crowned victorious on December 1, 2013.
During the presidential election period earlier this year, Papadopoulos was vocally critical of Garoyian’s decision for DIKO to back DISY’s candidate and ultimate winner, President Nicos Anastasiades.
Instead, Papadopoulos made little effort to hide his support for EDEK-backed candidate, Giorgos Lillikas, who has since formed his own movement, the Citizens’ Alliance.
Should the son of the late former president Tassos Papadopoulos win the party leadership in December, it remains to be seen whether DIKO will remain a coalition partner in the Anastasiades government.