Cyprus Mail

Mavronikolas joins EDEK leadership race

Koullis Mavronikolas (r) is congratulated after being elected as an MEP in 2009

By Constantinos Psillides

FORMER MEP Kyriakos Mavronikolas is expected to announce his candidacy for president of the socialist party EDEK, in the leadership elections to be held on March 1, according to press reports.

Reports on his candidacy surfaced in daily Phileleftheros and news portal Sigmalive. The former MEP didn’t reject the reports.

The Cyprus Mail contacted EDEK for clarification, but the press officers did not wish to make any statements. “Mr Mavronikolas has not filed his candidacy yet. When he does there will be an official briefing by the party,” was the press officer’s response.

The former MEP was not available for comment.

If Mavronikolas files a bid for the party top spot, he will become the third candidate to enter the race.

Party MP Yiorgos Varnava and deputy chairman Marinos Sizopoulos announced their candidacies last week. MP Nicos Nicolaides who was also rumoured to be interested in the post, bowed out last week citing health reasons.

Mavronikolas’ possible bid throws a wrench in the electoral process. According to the party stature, the party leader is elected by an absolute majority meaning that with three candidates in the mix a second round of elections may be unavoidable. If there is a need for a second round, it will be held on March 8.

Sizopoulos and Varnavas, who were favourites for the top spot from the beginning, both conveyed a message of party unity and a swift election process, which no longer appears to be the case.

The president will be elected by the party’s Central Committee of 140 members.

The former party leader Yiannakis Omirou resigned his post last month before his third term expired. Omirou, who is also president of the House, wrote in an open letter that he was constantly undermined and thus forced to resign.

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