By Constantinos Psillides
MARCOS Kyprianou on Monday launched his political comeback, putting forth his name as a candidate for the seat of deputy head of DIKO, the centre-right party founded by his father and former President Spyros Kyprianou in 1976.
The son of the former president vanished from the spotlight in 2011 when he stepped down after the Mari naval base blast.
Kyprianou, who served as foreign minister for the Christofias administration at the time was one of those taken to court over the blast, which killed 13 people.
He was acquitted of all charges on July 9, after the court accepted that the former minister was acting under orders from the former president, regarding the storage of explosives at the Evangelos Florakis base.
The attorney-general’s office appealed the acquittal and a decision by the Supreme Court is expected this week.
In his bid for deputy chief of the party, Kyprianou will be up against some DIKO “heavyweights”, chief amongst them DIKO’s European parliamentarian Antigoni Papadopoulou.
Both filed their candidacy at the DIKO headquarters, as a part of the process leading to the party convention on February 9.
The seat of deputy head of the coalition party is also sought after by longtime DIKO members Giorgos Constantinou, Yiannis Ioannou, Constantinos Panagi and Costas Mavrides.
Talking to the press after filing his candidacy, Kyprianou said that he doesn’t seek election for personal gain or to use the position as a stepping stone for something more.
“It’s a chance for me to work and help fortify the party and Cyprus in these troubled times. I grew up in DIKO, the people of DIKO know who I am and my candidacy is question towards them. What part do they want me to play in the party? Im ready to roll my sleeves and work hard, as long as they want me to,” said Kyprianou.
Papadopoulou filed her candidacy late in the afternoon, only minutes before the 5pm deadline. DIKO members will also decide on other positions in the higher echelons of the party.
Ioannis Armeftis, mayor of Pafos SavvasVergas, Constantinos Panagi and former minister Health and Interior Christos Patsalides will be after the vice president position.
For the position of general secretary, five people have put forward their candidacies. Themis Themistocleous former head of CyBC, Stelios Ieronimidis former DIKO MP, Marinos Mousiouttas, Nestoras Nestoros and CyTA union boss Alekos Tryfonides.
Themistocelous told the press that his experience in running various organisations both in Europe and Cyprus would benefit the party.
Tryfonides is a vocal advocate against the government’s privatisation policy and has publicly criticised the party’s stance on the issue.
Lastly, DIKO MP Fitos Constantinou and Avraam Solomou will compete for the position of the general-secretary of the organising committee.
DIKO is expected to validate the candidacies and announce the final list on Tuesday.
Marcos Kyprianou was expected by many to be a candidate for head of the party in the December 1 elections but never filed his candidacy to measure up against Marios Garoyian and Nicolas Papadopoulos, also the son of a DIKO chief and a former Cypriot President, Tassos Papadopoulos.