Cyprus Mail

Disy leader contender: we must become a great party again (Updated)

Demetris Demetriou

Disy MP Demetris Demetriou announced on Thursday he was running for the party’s leadership position, resigning as party spokesman.

He stressed he would take up the issue of people who were struck off the party in the past year, as Disy cannot be a divisive party.

“I believe we need to return to our principled position, that we are not a party of write-offs,” he said.

“For Disy to become the great and strong protagonist of political life again, it cannot be done in a divisive manner and with divisive actions.”

The last dismissal which went public was that of president-elect Nikos Christodoulides, when he submitted his candidacy for the presidential elections.

Demetriou said he was resigning from his current post as party spokesman as he could not be taking advantage of his position, “which was one trusted to me by (Disy leader) Averof Neophytou”.

His announcement follows that of Harris Georgiades, currently Disy’s deputy leader, who is also running for party leader.

Demetriou told reporters he had asked Neophytou for a meeting to formally submit his resignation but also discuss – among other things – the issue of party dismissals.

A core principle of Disy is that it simply is not one that strikes people off “and it is something I fought for with zeal and alone in July, when the matter was last discussed,” Demetriou said, expressing the hope his view would be heard.

Neophytou has made clear he is also running to continue his post as party leader during the elections set to be held on March 11.

The party is currently in the most critical phase of its history and the responsibility of the decision is whether “we will remain stagnant, trapped in disputes and personal strategies which concern yesterday or if we will look ahead, making a new beginning for our party,” Demetriou said.

He highlighted that if elected, his leadership would be that of rejuvenation. “To ensure the unity that was so recently traumatised. We need a rejuvenation across all levels. We need to keep our vision focused on the future and not in the past to what divided us.”

Asked if he will ask to meet Christodoulides, he noted he had no such intention.

“I believe the party members and voters should be left free to decide for their next leadership without any external influences.”

Should he be elected he would like to run the party with transparency, with all details on his meetings to be publicly available.

“I feel ready and strong to enter the battle for the rebirth of Disy. The trauma of the recent presidential elections is great and we will only overcome it if we manage to overcome what we currently have or had in mind. To get past the yardsticks, to get past the mechanisms. It is these that threaten to plunge our party into stagnation and introversion,” he added.

Asked if he would be interested in pursuing a different party position should he lose the elections, Demetriou said he had not thought about it.

He told attendees that as an MP, he fights for the party on a daily basis and has served Disy since he was a student through the party youth groups.

“Today I stand before you and ask for the support and trust of the pure Disy members because I believe in what I stand for as a human being and the values of my moral compass: freedom, justice and transparency.”


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