Cyprus Mail

DIKO soul searches after Euro elections flop

The DIKO candidates for the European elections

By Angelos Anastasiou

IN ITS review of the party’s poor performance in last Sunday’s European Parliament elections, DIKO’s leadership came to five conclusions which it cited as reasons for the record-low number of votes it attracted, including internal saboteurs and intentional undermining by President Anastasiades.

In an announcement following a reportedly tumultuous session that started at 4:30 pm, DIKO’s Executive Office recapped the facts of the election – record abstention levels due to voter disenfranchisement, perceived ineffectiveness of the European Parliament, and losses for all parties except for new formations.

According to the announcement, DIKO decided to bring the issue of voter disengagement to the House for discussion.

“Still, we must we must intensify our daily dialogue and contact with the public, in order to obtain a clearer picture of the many different reasons that led citizens to abstention,” the party said.

DIKO acknowledged that the 10,83 per cent of voters it managed to convince – its lowest ever – is “not satisfactory, but reasonable under the circumstances.”

“It is clear that in a global environment of decreased results for all traditional parties, DIKO has had, by comparison, fewer losses,” the party claimed.

DIKO went on to cite its late entrance into the Euroelection arena – due to internal party elections three and a half months prior – as reason number one for its failure.

Second, the party said, despite the strength of individual candidates, the combination lacked geographic dispersion, resulting in reduced voters attracted in three districts – Paphos, Famagusta and Larnaca.

The pre-election public confidence that DIKO would comfortably retain its seat in the European Parliament, coupled with the equally strong belief that it couldn’t compete for an additional one, discouraged its voters from rallying around the party, the announcement said.

“Fourth, the limited, to none, response of by some members to the action plans devised by the party, as well as some statements made to the media by some members, which far exceeded their right to an opinion different to that of the majority within the party,” DIKO’s Executive Office said. “Such attitudes hurt the party’s status and credibility, creating a negative image that does the opposite to attracting voters.”

The last conclusion reached by the session in its effort to explain the party’s poor performance was that President Anastasiades had waged “intense and inappropriate aggression, and in some cases petty party politics,” following what DIKO interpreted as his violation of the agreement he had forged with the party during the 2013 presidential campaign – which was cited by DIKO in its February decision to exit the government coalition.

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