The government on Monday has denied accusations that President Nikos Christodoulides does not respect the collective bodies of opposition party Disy, after a flurry of back and forth a day ago, when the president was quoted saying he wants to work closely with the party he broke from ahead of the 2023 presidential elections.
Commenting on statements Christodoulides made in an interview to Phileleftheros, Letymbiotis said that the president never made an advance on the positions of the collective bodies of Disy or any other party.
Asked to comment on the president’s invitation to Disy, Letymbiotis said that the president was answering a journalist’s questions in the context of his interview.
He emphasised that Christodoulides was very specific and honest and has never hidden where he comes from.
Commenting further, Letymbiotis said that Christodoulides’ policies are based on the ideology of liberalism and are very close to Disy’s policies.
He added that the well-intentioned interest of the country makes unity on important issues imperative.
In his statements on Sunday, Christodoulides said that he is ready to work with Disy as soon as the party deems it possible.
This drew the immediate reaction of Disy leadership and other members, who remained firm in their position to be in opposition and criticised the president for his statements.
Party leader Annita Demetriou rebuffed the idea. “I repeat that Disy will remain a serious and responsible force in opposition, always guided by the public benefit and the interests of Cyprus,” she said.
“In order to do the above unity is not possible,” she added.
But she did agree that solving the Cyprus problem is the political priority for all.
“This is an untimely and unnecessary invitation, devoid of content, to a party which, by congress decision, is clearly in opposition. The President should show greater respect for Disy,” party MP Demetris Demetriou said earlier.
However, things seemed to be further complicated, when former President Nicos Anastasiades also called in an interview with Phileleftheros for Disy leader Annita Demetriou and Christodoulides to work together.
Anastasiades last Sunday said that Demetriou and Christodoulides need to find a communication channel.
During the previous presidential elections, Anastasiades drew heavy criticism for not showing his open support for his party’s candidate Averof Neophytou, the former Disy leader.
Many criticised that behind the scenes he supported Christodoulides, something that opposition Akel also brought out on Sunday in their comment about Christodoulides’ invitation to cooperate with Disy.
“What is certain is that everything is developing as was planned before the elections, in order to deceive the citizens and continue the Disy government, the governance of corruption and rot,” Akel party spokesman George Koukoumas said.
“How do they feel now those who were persuaded to vote for Christodoulides as a ‘change’, ‘new’, ‘different’ now he has officially announced his goal is a Disy government with Disy policies?
In his statement on Monday rebuffing Akel, Anastasiades said Akel was attempting to distort what was said in his interview a week ago with their reaction.
Anastasiades said that the decisions on how to govern Disy “belong exclusively to the new leadership of the party, which enjoys the universal support of all of us.”
“At no point in the interview I gave to Phileleftheros [on September 3] was I neither asked, nor did I allegedly encourage Disy to participate in the current government. The question I was asked was ‘What public advice would you give to Nikos Christodoulides and Annita Demetriou?’ and my answer verbatim was the following: ‘They should find channels of communication, understanding and cooperation where and where this serves the well-intentioned interest of the country.’”