EDEK Withdraws from Coalition
Socialist party EDEK has withdrawn from the ruling government coalition it shared with centre-right party DIKO and communist party AKEL, citing fundamental disagreements on the way President Demetris Christofias is carrying out talks with Turkish-Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat.
At an emergency meeting called by its president Yiannakis Omirou, EDEK voted 115 for, eight against, to quit the government along with its two ministers; Michalis Polinikis (agriculture minister) and Nikos Nicolaides (transport minister).
Omirou said that he has already informed Christofias, who thanked him for the information. He said that EDEK has withdrawn because in the 17 months of face-to-face negotiations, he believes Christofias has been following the wrong strategy and that the 'other side is taking advantage.'
It is EDEK's 'duty and responsibility' to withdraw, he said, and that the party 'cannot endorse a strategy that is damaging.' Omirou said that EDEK's suggestions on the talks were ignored and that the negotiations were heading towards a dead end.
Yesterday, Christofias said that he would respect any decision made by EDEK. The president is expected to address the issue in a formal statement on January 9th.