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Cyprus

Party leaders fail to agree over contentious seat (Updated)

Solidarity's Giorgos Papadopoulos

A meeting between party leaders and House President Demetris Syllouris on Friday yielded no results as to what might happen with the recently vacated seat formerly held by Solidarity Movement’s Giorgos Papadopoulos.

A Supreme Court decision earlier this month ruled that a law allowing Papadopoulos to inherit his position as MP for Solidarity from party leader Eleni Theocharous before she was sworn in was unconstitutional and has such left authorities in disarray without knowing what to do.

During Friday’s meeting, opinions were separated into two camps, with all parties but ruling Disy, vying for finding a way for Papadopoulos to stay on as MP.

Disy’s position is that a by-election should be held. The case, which went to court the first time in 2016, was filed by former Disy MP Andreas Michaelides as he garnered more votes during the parliamentary elections that Papadopoulos.

Theocharous had in 2016 been elected as Limassol MP with 3,788 votes but opted to keep her place as MEP, leaving her seat to the party’s runner-up, Papadopoulos, who received just 767 votes.

Michaelides won 4,734 votes, making him more popular in Limassol than Papadopoulos.

Disy leader Averof Neophytou questioned whether seats belonged to the parties, bringing up MPs Anna Theologou and Pavlos Mylonas, who had been elected on the Citizens Alliance ticket but abandoned the party after disagreements with the leader Yiorgos Lillikas, staying on as independents.

Mylonas has since moved to Diko.

Neophytou argued against amending the constitution to make it legal for someone to inherit the seat before a swearing in while Diko leader Nicolas Papadopoulos’ stance is the contrary.

As Friday’s meeting yielded no result, party leaders and Syllouris are slated to meet next week again with the Attorney General.

The AG had previously expressed his opinion that he did not agree with the Supreme Court ruling deeming the law unconstitutional.

Meanwhile another 50 members of Diko publicly announced their resignation from the party on Friday, blaming Nicolas Papadopoulos for the downward spiral.

Also, Antigoni Papadopoulou, a central Diko figure who was expelled from the party and lost an appeal to the decision said she has been treaded in a “humiliating manner by certain persons within Diko.”

In a press conference, Papadopoulos, who had served as MEP for Diko said she was taking the case to court, to protect the name she built for herself in Diko for 40 years.

The party responded to her statements saying “instead of apologising for her unacceptable behaviour which went against the party in the latest presidential elections, insists on using derogatory terms for the people of Diko.”

Papadopoulou had been one of the main party members along with Marios Garoyian, who had openly gone against Papadopoulos’ bid for the presidential seat.

Since losing the election, he has expelled dozens of party members with many leaving of their own accord.

 

 



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