The Democratic Rally (Disy) on Thursday struck off the party register Nikos Christodoulides, on the same day that the latter formally filed his candidacy for the presidential elections.

The Cyprus Mail contacted Disy spokesman Demetris Demetriou, who confirmed Christodoulides’ ejection from the party.

It was a formality, added Demetriou, “after he [Christodoulides] threw himself out of the party with his actions.”

Daily Kathimerini recalled that, at its last session, the party’s Political Bureau had passed a decision where they would boot out Christodoulides once he submitted his candidacy.

Also reportedly nixed from the party were three Disy cadres who acted as nominators for Christodoulides’ presidential candidacy – Yiannos Ioannou, the deputy mayor of Engomi; Mikaella Messiou, wife of the Strovolos mayor; and businessman Pascalis Theofanous. Their names appear on the list of the 100 people who nominated Christodoulides.

Christodoulides, a longtime Disy member, served as government spokesperson in the administration of Nicos Anastasiades from 2014 to 2018. From 2018 to 2022 he served as foreign minister.

He resigned his post in January 2022 amid speculation he would run for president in 2023 without the blessing of his Disy party. In June, he confirmed that he would run for president as an independent, and has since been endorsed by the Diko and Edek parties.

Disy have made no secret that they consider this a betrayal.

Opinion polls consistently give Christodoulides a comfortable lead over the other candidates.