Nicos Anastasiades left office at the end of February, but six-and-a-half months later he still seems unable to cope as an ordinary citizen, no longer in the limelight. Intent on finding a new public role he has opened a political office in Nicosia, and a couple of weeks ago gave an interview to Phileleftheros announcing an initiative to heal the wounds and reunite Disy which had suffered deep divisions since the presidential election campaign.

The audacity of the man knows no bounds. After playing a big part in splitting the party, by consistently undermining the leadership of Averof Neophytou and covertly campaigning for the election of Nikos Christodoulides, who stood against the party candidate, he has now decided to offer his services as the unifier. Is it the unity of the party he wants or control? And why does he not allow the new party leader, Annita Demetriou, to reunite the party. There is no better way of undermining her leadership, than by implying that she cannot deal with the divisions and the former president will sort things out.

To counter his move, Demetriou announced on Tuesday, after a meeting of the Disy political bureau that she would set up an informal committee – the presidential council – made up of former leaders, deputies and ministers of the party to offer her advice. Anastasiades would be one of the members of this group, without the power to unify or issue directives to his loyalists. It is a pity that Demetriou had to resort to such manoeuvres, but how else would she keep the former president, renowned for his deviousness, at bay.

Anastasiades had been a deputy for 32 years, leader of Disy for 16 years and president of the republic for ten. Before the end of the month, he will turn 77. Even if he is under the illusion that he still has things to offer the country, he should suppress his desire to carry on having a role in politics and allow the new Disy leader to make her mark on the party, without interference from him. Disy is not his family business, in the running of which he can always have a say.

In fact, the former president would do well to follow the example set by founder of the party, Glafcos Clerides, whom he cites as his political mentor. When Clerides lost the presidential elections in 2003, he retired from politics and stayed home. He came out of retirement for a few days to support the Annan plan in the 2004 referendum, because he felt it was his duty to do so, and then completely disappeared from the public domain.

It seems Anastasiades is incapable of making a dignified exit from politics and allowing the younger generation to work without his self-serving meddling.