Cyprus Mail

Diko leader says centre ‘must cooperate’ to oust Anastasiades (updated)

DIKO head Nicolas Papadopoulos

The so-called centre must co-operate to rid the country of the failed policy of Disy and Akel, Diko chairman Nicolas Papadopoulos said on Tuesday, as the five parties continued their efforts to agree on a single, common candidate to field in next year’s presidential elections.

In a letter to Yiorgos Lillikas of the Citizens’ Alliance, Papadopoulos said it was his party’s “strong conviction that the centre must and will co-operate to rid the country of the failed policy of the leaderships of Disy and Akel.”

Papadopoulos was responding to a last-ditch effort from Lillikas to set up a meeting of all five parties – Diko, Edek, Green party, Alliance, and Solidarity Movement — in a bid to agree on a single candidate for next February’s elections.

He said Diko has had meetings with three of the parties and was scheduled to meet the greens next week.

“We will review the situation after concluding these meetings as well as the possibility of new contacts,” Papadopoulos said.

Lillikas, who has already announced his candidacy, said on Monday he would embark on a final effort to find a common candidate.

In a letter sent to the other parties on Tuesday, Lillikas sought to lay down the conditions and criteria of a potential co-operation.

Lillikas said the objective would be to get rid of Anastasiades and his policy and that could be achieved by electing a president who would implement a new, assertive strategy capable of bending Turkish intransigence.

On the economy front, Lillikas said the key condition would be to abandon the policy od austerity and privatisations and plan a policy of growth that will create new jobs.

He reiterated that the criteria were a candidate’s suitability and electability.

Solidarity leader Eleni Theocharous also responded on Tuesday, suggesting Lillikas’ positions were not helpful because they put pressure on the parties.

“… it creates unnecessary associations and provides an opportunity to anyone who wanted to hurt the prospects of achieving the desired cooperation.”

Theocharous added that their firm objective was to continue and conclude their efforts to form a common front inside a reasonable timeframe.

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