Former president Nicos Anastasiades used his speech at the Disy annual party conference, which took place on Saturday, to deny any allegations that he worked behind the scenes to undermine Averof Neophytou’s candidacy, providing a number of examples as to why that is the case.
He said that when Nikos Christodoulides declared his intention to run for president, he immediately tried to find a way to resolve the matter without a clash between all parties involved. After Christodoulides did not accept a compromise, Anastasiades said, he was left with no other choice but to back the then Disy president Averof Neophytou.
Anastasiades added that he further supported Neophytou through the morning meetings of Disy’s executive committee with government officials, in order to provide Neophytou with as much backing as possible.
In addition, he said that all ministers and deputy ministers were on Neophytou’s side, aside from Costas Kadis, and signed documents declaring that they would not accept any cabinet positions under a Christodoulides administration.
Anastasiades also referred to the allegations of undermining Neophytou as “propaganda from the other side”, to which “he did not respond in order to preserve party unity”.
He went on to say that “what’s done is done”, before adding that this is not the first instance of a party losing an election, and asking that sobriety and levelheadedness overcome any feelings of bitterness.
“Nothing separates me from Averof Neophytou but in fact, we are united by struggles over three decades,” he concluded.
In his own speech, Neophytou conceded that both he and the party made mistakes, for which they were punished, before adding that they also suffered for the mistakes of others.
“I am personally proud for what we achieved, even though this success was brought at great personal cost,” he said.
Regarding suggestions that his candidacy was one that was destined to lose, Averof said he considered that to be an insult, “not to himself, but to the many party members who fought for his campaign”.