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Our View: Another centre party is the last thing we need

Marios Garoyian

The interior ministry, after consulting the state legal service, gave the go-ahead for a group of Diko rebels to use the name Dimokratiki Parataxi (Democratic Front) for their new party/movement. There was a legal obstacle as members of official Diko had registered this name when they heard of the rebels’ plans and the interior ministry could not register it a second time. This was why the assistance of the state legal service was sought.

Now we will have yet another small, so-called centre party, operating as the vehicle of the party leader, which in this case is likely to be former House president Marios Garoyian, who was expelled from Diko a few weeks ago for undermining the presidential candidacy of Nikolas Papadopoulos. Garoyian, who had served as Diko chief, will be joined at the front by other disaffected members who also fell out with the current party leadership.

Does the country really need another personal vehicle disguised as a political party? There are more than enough and none of them have much of a future. The Alliance of Citizens suffered mass defections before the elections while more seem on the horizon. Its leader Giorgos Lillikas is the only deputy, the other two having left the party. Eleni Theocharous’ Solidarity Movement is another personal party set up to further the leader’s presidential ambitions, but hijacked by Demetris Syllouris, the former leader of the now defunct Euroko, to become House president.

The Greens have always been the personal fiefdom of Giorgos Perdikis, while Edek has degenerated from a proper party into the personal vehicle of Marinos Sizopoulos, something supported by its electoral strength. The only difference between Edek and the rest is that it pre-existed its leader, and the same can be said of Diko even though the main reason for its existence, historically, was to serve the ambitions of its leader.

This is why all these parties of the so-called centre have nothing to distinguish themselves from each other. They have the same position on the Cyprus problem – they are all opposed to bi-zonal, bi-communal federation and support the continuation of the status quo – and they are all Akel-type populists on economic issues, supporting a big-spending, interventionist state, union power, protectionism and anything else they think will make their respective leaders popular. The only difference among the parties of the so-called centre is that they have different leaders. Nothing else.

And now we will have yet another one, because Garoyian has been in the political wilderness for far too long and needs his own vehicle to return to the political stage.

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