Former DIKO chairman Marios Garoyian said on Monday he will not be a candidate in the upcoming parliamentary elections, citing differences with party leadership.
Garoyian, who is an MP, informed party chairman Nicolas Papadopoulos of his intention not to run in May during a meeting on Monday.
He lost the party leadership to Papadopoulos in December 2013.
Since then, he has been critical of Papadopoulos, accusing him of implementing a one-man model of leadership.
He has also criticised him over his hardline stance on the Cyprus problem.
In a statement released after the meeting, Garoyian said he chose this path to have greater personal independence as he continued the fight for the essence that political life and public discourse on the future of the country must have.
“I could not run, seeking the trust of our voters, by hiding the differences separating me from the choices and practices of today’s leadership,” he said.
Neither could he exercise criticism that would worsen the introversion, dishearten its supporters and speed up its decline and marginalisation, he said.
“It is a difficult decision,” he said. “But I think that it is honourable, sincere, and dignified.”
Garoyian said he would remain an active member of civil society, seeking to maintain an honest and clear relation of open dialogue and collective action for the future of the country.
“Now is the time of moderation, realism, national understanding, true unity, for a better tomorrow.”