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CYPRUS: Socialists elect new leader, aim for 2016 elections

02 March, 2015

The socialist party of Cyprus, with just five deputies in the 56-seat House of Representatives, elected its third leader on Sunday in the party’s 46-year history and hopes to head into the May 2016 parliamentary elections with a new look and fresh platform.



Deputy party chief Marinos Sizopoulos won 60% of the votes against his sole opponent and current MP Georgos Varnava, pledging to bring the Socialist Movement EDEK back to its key role in local politics by keeping a firm line on the Cyprus issue, focusing on the economic demise and efforts to rebuilt the nation, while lending a hand to neigbouring Greece.
Sizopoulos was supported by Euro MP Demetris Papadakis after House President Yiannakis Omirou resigned from the party leadership in January, and aims to rejuvenate the party set up by veteran socialist Vassos Lyssarides (seen in photo above).
But the new leader also faces an internal crisis as MP Fidias Sarikas has been involved in a scandal from when he was mayor of Paphos more than a decade ago regarding corruption in a multi-million sewerage project, that has left the town looking like a permanent construction site and as yet without a proper sewerage network.
The socialist EDEK has always played a supportive role in many coalition governments but has never managed to garner more than 10-15% of the public vote, despite its historical ties to the PASOK socialist movement of Greece and its founder Andreas Papandreou.