Cyprus Mail

EDEK leader under attack from his own party (updated)

EDEK leader Marinos Sizopoulos
EDEK leader Marinos Sizopoulos

EDEK leader Marinos Sizopoulos was left with another blow to his party on Tuesday as yet another party member resigned, bringing the tally up to three since Sunday’s parliamentary elections.

Paphos candidate Andreas Petrides, who failed to get a seat expressed his thanks to his supporters both from within the party and the public but said he had been feeling like an outsider in EDEK due to several practices the party had exercised.

He cited “for instance, vengeful behaviour from the previous leadership, particularly during the sensitive election period, which seriously undermined our political discourse.”

Sizopoulos did not make any announcements on the matter but earlier in the day, when he was on state radio commenting on the resignation by EDEK’s co-vice chairpersons Marinos Theodorou and Maria Vassiliadou on Monday, said he believed they were wrong to take action before the party convened to discuss the electoral results.

“I don’t allow anyone to take the initiative and resign before discussing.”

The two had cited the low percentage of votes their party received in the elections.

“The aim of any leading executive is to help the party in difficult times. Help may come in the form of a resignation but this should be done after discussing these matters,” he said but expressed his hope they might review their decision and attend a meeting on Wednesday.

Justifying the loss of EDEK’s popularity he said this was down to “organisational matters” and negligence.

EDEK’s loss of two seats in parliament was attributed to the leadership by outgoing Limassol MP Nicos Nicolaides who issued his own condemning statement.

The party suffered “its greatest ever loss in elections since its founding” he said and it was clear people were not happy with the “new EDEK” they’ve been seeing as of late.

“Instead of acting as a leader should, with courage and humility, admit his enormous responsibilities, EDEK’s chairman is trying, like a student caught being naughty to blame others,” Nicolaides said.

The outgoing MP put the loss down to a series of mistakes such as EDEK’s rejectionist stance on the Cyprus problem and attempts to focus on how it is named rather than the content rejecting anything with the term ‘bi-zonal, bi-communal federation’.

Additionally, Sizopoulos’ handling of the national council minutes, his clash with European and international socialist groups and association with extreme socialist parties, pushed people away from the party, Nicolaides charged.

He also said there was a ‘team’ within the party that was carrying out a premeditated plan to rid EDEK of certain members, starting with House chairman Yiannakis Omirou, who resigned as party chairman last year.

Tensions between Nicolaides and Sizopoulos were brought to light before the parliamentary elections when the latter decided to run for a seat in Limassol – where Nicolaides was serving as MP.

He blasted Sizopoulos at the time for “decisions of exclusion, rather than unity”, hinting at his leader’s “feelings of disastrous vengefulness, intentions to ostracise those who disagree with him, or promoting his favourites at any cost”.

“Instead of fighting for a second seat in Nicosia, this leadership resorts to a single-seat district,” Nicolaides charged.

Sizopoulos denied that his decision to run in Limassol targeted Nicolaides – who didn’t run in the parliamentary elections – saying the reasons had to do with tactics, allocation of seats, and even completing the ballot.

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