Edek has sunk deeper into turmoil after party president Marinos Sizopoulos said Nicosia district’s branch elections would go ahead as scheduled on Sunday, despite three party members having obtained a temporary court injunction postponing them.
This is the latest twist in protracted in-fighting as Edek prepares to elect a new president.
The row has focused on the validity of the party members’ register with critics accusing the leadership of irregularities as regards who can vote in order to hang on to power. The leadership had countered that everything is being done by the book and suggested that opponents are trying to create problems because they know they have no chance of winning.
Sizopoulos, who is seeking a second term, told CyBC TV that Sunday’s elections would go ahead as normal and urged members of the district to go and vote.
“Democratic procedures will not be postponed because some people, worried by the results of the elections in Paphos and Limassol, want to lead the party into judicial adventures to serve their personal interests,” he said.
Sizopoulos added that the party’s lawyers were handling the issue of the court injunction.
The law firm which secured the court injunction was quick to reply. “It is incomprehensible for a parliamentary party to defy court decisions and to carry out elections which have been suspended by a decision of the court and on the basis of a party register which has been tampered with,” it said in a letter sent to the party.
It noted that Edek had been served a temporary injunction by Nicosia district court suspending the district meeting until the case is heard or new court instructions are issued.
“The suit was submitted, and the temporary injunction issued, by candidates in the electoral process so as to ensure that elections are not held with a fraudulent electoral register, a position which the court accepted by issuing the temporary injunction,” the letter added.
Adding to the fractious climate, Edek member Yiorgos Hari on Friday issued a written statement challenging the results of the September 26 Limassol district party elections. Hari, who had been a candidate for the Limassol district presidency, claimed that people who had no relation with Edek and had been illegally registered as members took part in the vote on the instructions of Sizopoulos.