Sitting DIKO MP Athina Kyriakidou has decided not to run in the upcoming parliamentary elections, citing disagreement with the leadership’s stance on the Cyprus problem, according to a statement she issued on Tuesday.
“We are months ahead of the parliamentary elections, with talks for a settlement of the Cyprus problem at their peak,” Kyriakidou’s statement said.
“During such a crucial period, the public and society in general expect responsible and serious positions from the political leadership, as well as each one of us.”
Her decision was driven by her political ideology and philosophy, she added.
“My priority at this time is to support positions and actions that lead to the reunification of our country, as opposed to being forced to silence and condoning views and practices I disagree with in order to get elected,” Kyriakidou said.
“I cannot defend the views expressed by the party’s current leadership. Views of unrestrained and uncritical rejectionism. Views that confer no hope to the reunification of our country.”
Kyriakidou added that she has served DIKO for the last 35 years, and her decision not to run does not equal her departure from the party, or abandoning her “friends and fellow fighters”.
“With my decision I reaffirm my ideology and my political identity, mainly comprising plurality and moderation, traditional elements of the political centre, where DIKO belongs,” she said.
Kyriakidou’s withdrawal from the parliamentary arena comes after that of former DIKO chairman Marios Garoyian, also a sitting MP, who is considered by many the de facto leader of DIKO’s wing of moderates.
In response to the departures, DIKO leader Nicolas Papadopoulos has signed up former DIKO members like Marios Matsakis and prominent personalities not associated with the party thus far, like former spokeswoman for the Greens Eleni Chrysostomou.