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EDEK quits the governing coalition in Cyprus

9 février 2010

THE Central Committee of Socialist Party EDEK voted late last night by an overwhelming majority to quit the government coalition, responding to leader Yiannakis Omirou’s unequivocal call for withdrawal based on the party’s “total disagreement” with President Demetris Christiofias’ strategy on the Cyprus problem.

Omirou said that EDEK’s support for Christofias in the second round of the presidential elections in February 2008 had been given “on the basis of specific written commitments on the solution we want and call for”, but “unfortunately, we consider that those commitments have not been kept”.

The President rescinded the 8 July (2007) agreement in practice,” he said and entered into direct negotiations with Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talatwithout the existence of suitable grounds”, all of which EDEK had disagreed with.

However, Omirou said that, once Christofias decided to enter into negotiations, EDEK considered it its “patriotic duty” to support his efforts, but “for the 17 months since then, in our opinion the President has been following a mistaken strategy which the other side is using to its own advantage”, involving unilateral concessions such as the matter of the rotating presidency “which are not acceptable to the overwhelming majority of Cypriot Hellenism”.

« We cannot endorse damaging strategies […] Leaving this government is the politically responsible and morally right thing to do, » EDEK chairman Yiannakis Omirou told a party conference.

The socialists quit the governing coalition in Cyprus yesterday (8 February), accusing President Demetris Christofias of making concessions to Turkish Cypriots in reunification talks key to Turkey’s attempt to join the EU.

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