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DIKO’s coalition future to be decided on Friday

DIKO's Nicolas Papadopoulos has already made his decision ahead of Friday's executive office vote

By Constantinos Psillides

DIKO’s executive office will convene this Friday to decide whether the party will dissolve the government coalition or stay in power.

DIKO leader Nicolas Papadopoulos, son of former president Tassos Papadopoulos, announced the decision on Monday.

Papadopoulos has already come against the joint declaration which has kick-started talks on the Cyprus problem, warning President Nicos Anastasiades that he will leave the ruling coalition if the president goes through with his plan to recommence peace talks based on the declaration. Papadopoulos went as far as publicly accusing the president of lying in his press conference on February 12.

Following the signing of the joint declaration, Papadopoulos accused the president of “backing down on the assurances he gave DIKO to receive our support for the presidential elections”.

Papadopoulos’ grip over the executive office is far from firm. Reports say that the executive office is split 22-17 in favour of leaving the coalition, a shaky majority at best. DIKO’s four ministers, Commerce and Industry Giorgos Lakkotripis, Health Petros Petrides, Education and Culture Kyriakos Kenevezos and Defence Fotis Fotiou met on Friday and stated that political stability should not be upset.

Responding to his party ministers’ statement, Papadopoulos warned that “we should be especially sparing in our comments on such important issues so that our objectivity is not questioned.”

DIKO is no stranger to narrow majority decisions. Papadopoulos himself was elected leader of the party on December 1, beating incumbent Marios Garoyian with 51 per cent of the vote.

The DIKO executive office meeting is set for 4:00 p.m. on Friday.

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