In-fighting in Diko continued on Tuesday, as the party prepared to dismiss more members, blaming them for chairman Nicolas’ Papadopoulos defeat in the presidential elections.
On Monday, Diko ejected 12 members, including former chairman Marios Garoyian, and former MP and MEP Antigoni Papadopoulou.
One was acquitted by the disciplinary council while nine more are set to be judged on Tuesday amid growing resentment for the party’s leadership.
Earlier on Tuesday, member Marinos Kleanthous, a local councilor at Aglandjia, quit the party, accusing Papadopoulos and his close associates of failing to recognize their responsibility.
“Nicolas Papadopoulos’ election defeat was expected for us who communicate with the people of Diko on a daily basis,” Kleanthous said in a letter he made public. “We were seeing the erratic course of the party leadership and wondered how far it would go.”
Kleanthous said Papadopoulos and company made decisions using undemocratic procedures and refused to listen to the members of the party and convene a congress as stipulate in the charter.
He censured the leadership for siding with nationalists and telling voters not to vote for anyone in the runoff vote.
Kleanthous said Papadopoulos had failed to reach Diko supporters, he was distant, and never accepted criticism.
“He was indifferent of local committees, the ordinary members. He violated the charter. He only trusted the select few friends of his.”
During the election campaign, a number of Diko members openly held gatherings stating their opposition to Papadopoulos’ perceived hard-line positions on the Cyprus issue at which Garoyian was the main speaker. Such gatherings were even held in Limassol and Nicosia on January 24 – just four days prior to the first round of the election.
Back in October, several officials had broken ranks including the party vice chairman Christos Patsalides. Last December, Garoyian fired a shot at Papadopoulos, who unseated him as Diko leader in 2013, disagreeing with Papadopoulos’ veiled efforts to denounce the bizonal, bicommunal federation as the model for a solution to the Cyprus problem.