Cyprus Mail

Theocharous leaves DISY, announces new movement (Updated)

Eleni Theocharous

By Angelos Anastasiou

DISY MEP Eleni Theocharous on Friday officially confirmed her departure from the party citing its stance on the Cyprus problem, and announced plans to create a movement called “Solidarity”.

In a letter to DISY leader Averof Neophytou, Theocharous said her leaving the party is a “difficult and painful process […] but there is no other option”.

“The issue is primarily moral and deeply political, and creates intense feelings, but does not touch interpersonal relationships on a human level,” she said.

Theocharous added that her deep disagreement with DISY’s handling of the Cyprus problem, which she dubbed a “policy of continuous capitulations and painful compromises”, with regard to which she feels “we are fast leading toward irreversible situations”.

She announced the creation of a political movement to be named “Solidarity”, which will be formed as soon as her obligations as MEP allow, and irrespective of the upcoming parliamentary elections in May 2016.

“I don’t know whether the movement will participate in the parliamentary elections,” she said.

“We don’t even know whether parliamentary or presidential elections will be held, after all.”

Asked to comment on her presidential ambitions, Theocharous said she would be happy to back another candidate.

“It could be me,” she said in response to whether she might run.

“But that is not my goal.”

Asked about what she intends to do with her seat at the European Parliament, which she won as a DISY candidate, Theocharous said she was elected on specific political views, with 20,000 votes more than the second most-voted Cypriot MEP, and 30,000 more than the third.

“If I were to leave the post, the person who would replace me will have won less than one-fifth of the votes I have won, and his political views are directly opposite to mine, and therefore, for reasons of political integrity to my principles, I will hold on to the seat for as long as is required,” she said.

The person who would replace her, if Theocharous were to vacate the MEP seat, is academic economist Stavros Zenios.

“This seat does not belong to me – it belongs to the voters who backed the specific views [that I expressed],” she said.

Theocharous’ resignation was earlier confirmed by the party, which said it had duly informed the European People’s Party that she no longer represents DISY.

She said tried to arrange a meeting with Neophytou, so that she could deliver the news in person, but his hectic schedule did not allow for a meeting.

The MEP said that, aside from the party’s stance on the Cyprus problem, there has been a “discernible deterioration” of the situation at DISY since Neophytou took over as leader from President Nicos Anastasiades.

She complained that the party’s bodies are not convened and “do not create policy”, and called for a referendum among DISY members to establish to what extent they approve of the leadership.

She claimed the party’s leadership slipped to an attitude of “complete contempt of different views” and the systematic undermining of those expressing them.

“Now I have decided to step down, because the situation with regard to the Cyprus problem is almost irreversible, and [UN mediator Espen Barth] Eide’s prophecies speak of imminent referenda,” she said.

“Therefore, each of us must assume their responsibility.”

An unjust solution is being imposed, and if the capitulations and compromises of our side become accepted by Turkey, “in my personal view, Turkification [of Cyprus] will have already taken place”.

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