Elections for top spots in opposition party Disy are being held on Saturday, as party members vote, following the election of a new leader two months ago.

House Speaker and Disy new party leader Annita Demetrou cast her votes for the three vice-presidents, the deputy leader, and members of the central committee in Larnaca.

She said: “This is how we move forward, modernise, and upgrade our political system, to turn a page.”

According Demetriou, the elections on Saturday are an indicator of the democratic processes followed by Disy.

She called on all party members to cast their vote, as the results will help to let the party continue uninterruptedly on its course.

“Disy remains strong, united, and decisive on its next steps,” she said.

Speaking after casting his votes in Nicosia, former party leader Averof Neophytou said: “There is only one message for today: unity.”

He voted at the central offices of the party in Nicosia, accompanied by his wife.

Neophytou cast his ballot ahead of Demetriou’s arrival to the central offices.

Speaking after casting his ballot, one of the candidates for the deputy leader position Michalis Sophocleous said that the elections were critical, because Disy members have after 20 years the ability to decide the central leadership of the party.

He added that the voters have a chance to give the leader [Demetriou] the right team to move forward in a strong and united manner.

“Today we are not selecting only individuals. Today, with our vote we are determining the character, face, and future path of this historic party,” he said.

He said he was very optimistic, and that his proposal for change was political and not based in emotion.

Another deputy leader hopeful, Sotiris Sampson said that the ideology and values of Disy were being judged at these elections.

“Today, these elections are value-based and ideologically based, and I call on the Disy voters, all the members, to vote for Disy to return to the authentic Disy, the patriotic Disy, the Disy of the nationalist line,” he said.

Speaking after casting his vote, Efthymios Diplaros, another candidate for the position of deputy leader, said: “Today, Disy is turning the page and is electing the rest of the young leadership, and we will all together work for the full reconstruction of the party,” he said.

He called on party members to go vote for the candidates they deem worthy.

In comments after casting his vote on the fact the party has become part of the opposition, former president Nicos Anastasiades said: “As a responsible political power, [the party] knows when to exercise criticism, when to be productive – as it should be – and not criticise just for the sake of it.

“I believe this will the role of Disy and it has always shown it.”

He added that the party members expect the new leadership to give its all with a planned campaign, so that the party can rediscover itself and of course the historical role it has to play.

The seven candidates for vice-president are: Onisiforos Iordanou, George Karoullas, Xenia Constantinou, Michalis Michael, Savia Orphanidou, Marios Pelekanos, and Fotini Tsiridou.

Meanwhile, the position of deputy leader is being sought by Michalis Sophocleous, Sotiris Sampson, and Efthymios Diplaros.

By midday, 7,754 party members had gone to vote out of the total 50,000 registered.

The results are expected late on Saturday.

The election of the deputy leader is being conducted by a separate ballot. Each member is entitled to vote for one candidate.

The election of the three vice-presidents will be done by a single ballot, and for the vote to be valid, each member is entitled to vote for two or three candidates. A ballot with less than two votes or more than three is considered invalid, the party said.

The voting for the 25 members of the central committee is done through a single election in which each member is entitled to vote for 13 to 25 candidates. A ballot with less than 13 or more than 25 votes is considered invalid.