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Sizopoulos accuses party dissidents of undermining Edek’s prospects

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Edek leader Marinos Sizopoulos on Sunday chastised the socialist party’s members who refused to attend an extraordinary congress held in Nicosia accusing them of trying to undermine Edek’s prospects.

The congress was held amidst reactions that the party ignored a court injunction barring it from holding an electoral congress planned for Sunday and elections for the party leadership next weekend. The injunction had been sought by a group of 15 persons intending to stand as candidates for the party’s new central committee.

Sizopoulos, who is running for another term, had announced they would be holding an extraordinary congress instead, arguing that Edek’s articles of association allow the party leader to do so.

The dissidents, that call themselves the Initiative Group for Edek’s Salvation and Reorganisation, did not attend the event.

Sizopoulos said that those who were against holding the congress “do not have political positions nor can they propose anything in relation to the course of the party, but their main goal is to undermine the party’s prospects.”

Among those absent from Sunday’s event were former Edek leader Yiannakis Omirou, and the general secretary of the party’s central committee, Michalis Terepeis who was called by the congress to resign within 10 days. Absent were also two of the four Edek MPs, Costis Efstathiou and Elias Myrianthous.

The extraordinary congress also unanimously decided to convene a constituent assembly in February 2022. They also voted for the integration of the Citizens’ Alliance into Edek following the agreement between the two parties before last May’s parliamentary elections.

Participants also reaffirmed the decision of the party’s political bureau to keep the members’ registry in the possession of the president. They also reaffirmed a decision by a previous party congress stipulating that the members of the collective bodies that are replaced due to absence or withdrawal do not have the right to run for election in the same bodies in the next electoral process.

The party’s electoral process sparked a protracted in-fighting including internal disputes over the legitimacy of member rolls. 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 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.

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