The leaders of Edek and Diko said on Wednesday they had a convergence of views as regards the basic principles of a solution of the Cyprus problem and would not engage in labels.
With three abstentions and no votes against, Edek’s party congress on Sunday backed Diko leader Nicolas Papadopoulos for president in 2018.
In its decision, the party took into consideration its concerns over the “destructive path being seen in Cyprus because of wrong choices and bad tactics by President Nicos Anastasiades and his government.”
On Wednesday, Papadopoulos met Edek leader Marinos Sizopoulos who handed him Sunday’s written decision backing his candidacy.
In statements after the meeting, Sizopoulos would not be drawn on a comment that there were divisions because the two parties fundamentally disagree on Cyprus, since Edek has officially rejected the notion of a bizonal, bicommunal federation while DIKO is in favour “under the right circumstances”.
“We will not be trapped in the nomenclature of the issue,” said Sizopoulos.
“What is important is the substance and content of the solution. Whether Edek rejected, based on a specific reason, the nomenclature, I have not found that there are differences with the Democratic Party or even with other parties with which we pursue this cooperation when it comes to the basic principles for a solution of the Cyprus problem,” he added.
“Is there anyone of us who has accepted the stationing of Turkish troops after a solution? Is there any of us who have accepted rotating presidency? Have any of the parties accepted guarantee intervention rights for Turkey after the solution?”
Papadopoulos said the parties have a common goal, the liberation of Cyprus from the Turkish occupation.
He said that whoever agrees with the rotating presidency, Turkish settlers remaining, numerical equality for the Turkish Cypriot side with veto in government, the abolition of the Republic “and its conversion to a Turkish protectorate”, already had a candidate in Nicos Anastasiades.
Speaking of the fact that the Solidarity Movement and the Green Party had begun the process of adopting his candidacy within their respective ranks, Papadopoulos said he expected their formal decisions within the next few days.
“The cooperation of the intermediate space is now a historical fact,” he said. “And I think historically it is our responsibility to bring change in terms of mentality, to wrong policies, and in terms of the current mistaken strategy for Cyprus.”
In a comment with regard to the Citizens Alliance, which has not as yet backed Papadopoulos because the party has endorsed its own leader Giorgos Lillikas, Papadopoulos said: “We fully respect the decisions of the Citizens Alliance. But this by no means closes the door on efforts to have cooperation of all five parties.”