Disy’s Harris Georgiades on Tuesday said he will run for the party leader, amid speculation on what the future of the party would hold.
Georgiades is currently Disy’s deputy leader, while the party spokesman Demetris Demetriou also hinted he may run for the post too.
In a statement, Georgiades said the party’s defeat in the presidential elections and everything that followed was the cause of sadness and concern.
“Instead of a sober review and a unifying approach, sharp divisions and interventions were chosen, which put our party at risk of splitting,” he said.
He added he was running, not out of personal ambition but to lead the efforts to give Disy the restructure it needs.
“It is time for our party to turn a new page and adopt a new model of leadership. More collective and consensual,” akin to that seen in other European parties, he said.
Speaking earlier in the day to Ant1 TV station, Demetriou said he “was very likely” going to be a candidate.
The moves from high-profile members of the party comes after current Disy leader Averof Neophytou announced elections for the party’s top post will take place on March 11, a matter of party procedure following defeat in a presidential election. At the time he announced the date, Neophytou put his own name forward for the position.
But members of Disy have already hit back about the timing of the vote. Interior Minister Nicos Nouris has sent a letter to Neophytou disagreeing with the election date, saying there has yet to be a broad discussion in the party over the election results and Disy’s evident divisions, apparent with the candidacy and subsequent presidential election of former party member Nikos Christodoulides.
Christodoulides became president-elect on Sunday after winning 51.97 per cent of the vote, while Neophytou was excluded in the first round of the presidential elections the previous Sunday.
“There should be a nationwide extraordinary session to provide an account of the outgoing leadership and discuss the reasons behind the terrible election results,” Nouris wrote.
Though it has been rumoured Nouris would also try to run for Disy’s top post, he refuted the claims in a statement published on Tuesday.
Last week, Demetriou told reporters he too disagreed with the speed with which Neophytou had announced the in-party election date, saying there was a longer reflection time that was needed for the party.
Nonethelesss, the date was ratified during Monday night’s political bureau meeting.
Demetriou, Nouris and Georgiades had sought to have election on May 7 but they did not gather enough support.
Thus, candidacies for Disy leader must be officially submitted on February 21 with 100 signatures from party backers, 10 of which must be from each district. The candidacies will be inspected a day earlier on February 20, to assess whether all criteria have been met.
Those eligible to vote are people who have been registered in the party since at least December 10.
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