Disy has no other choice but to win in the upcoming elections, party leader Annita Demetriou said on Friday, stressing Disy was facing an “unprecedented and merciless war”.

She charged there was a rigged scheme at play, aimed at grabbing votes from the far-right to the left.

“It is a real pity that some of us accept becoming a vehicle for Elam’s politicking practices or falling into the trap of exploitation, which essentially favours and serves only Akel,” she said.

Demetriou’s highly charged remarks were made in her first formal public appearance after Disy’s vice chairman Marios Pelekanos defected from the party and joined Elam’s ticket.

In a speech presenting the party’s candidates in upcoming local authority and MEP elections on June 9, she said Disy was “under fire from all sides…in a merciless war.”

The ultimate aim of this war is to “dismantle the party” and weaken its position, she said.

Her remarks at Elam and Akel however were not well-received by pundits, who sought to remind her that she was elected to the House presidency post with Elam’s votes.

Demetriou’s stressed that in the face of efforts to undermine Disy, the party must stand up for its principles and values to defend its “family.”

She admitted that mistakes had happened but “what divided and hurt us is smaller than what unifies us.”