House president Annita Demetriou said on Wednesday it was grossly offensive that some quarters were suggesting that as a leader she would be guided from ‘behind the scenes’.
“There cannot be digs aimed at creating tensions that imply Annita can be led by anyone. This is offensive. Whoever takes the leadership of the party is responsible for their actions,” she said.
Demetriou was responding to the myriad of reactions that followed DISY’s dramatic turn of events a day earlier. When Tuesday began, the present party leader, Averof Neophytou, was set to run to continue as leader, along with MP Demetris Demetriou and deputy party leader Harris Georgiades, who were all vying for the top seat.
Nonetheless, in the span of a few hours, both Georgiades and Neophytou announced they were withdrawing from the race after the House president announced, leaving two contenders with the Demetriou surname to fight it out.
Speaking to AlphaNews, Annita Demetriou said before taking any steps, she had first discussed it with Neophytou who welcomed her decision. Phone calls followed with Demetris Demetriou and Georgiades.
“I wanted Neophytou to hear it from me and not somewhere else,” she noted, stressing that her decision to run for the leadership post came from the warm encouragement she got from the public and DISY members.
Candidates are required to submit 100 signatures supporting their candidacy. The House President said she would not ask high-level DISY members to sign for her, so as not to put people in an uncomfortable position.
“It is the average DISY people across the country.”
Demetris Demetriou has from the onset of his candidacy stressed the importance of transparency. Speaking to Politis radio he stressed DISY should be ruled by the proud members of the party “and not other factors.”
His statements were linked to his suggestion that the leadership model should drastically change to become more collective, rather than power being concentrated in one place.
“We need to operate like normal people. Normal people are honest, realistic and can express their opinion.”
Asked how the party used to run, he said “not like normal people.”
Demetriou declared his candi-dacy as “independent” reflected a “true unity” and a move to rejuvenate the party.
DISY MP Efthymios Diplaros expressed a “huge thank you” to Neophytou for his “huge contribu-tion to the party” and also thanked him for his support during difficult personal matters.
President Nicos Anastasiades stressed he had no involvement and was not meddling in the party. Nonetheless, he announced on Tuesday that he respected Neophytou’s decision saying it was for the good of the country.
President-elect Nikos Christo-doulides expressed his certainty that he would cooperate with whichever candidate was elected. Any decision made by the party on who will be the next leader will be “completely respected”, he said, stressing that a strong DISY was vital for his governance.

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