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Cyprus president not concerned with reshuffle, for now

24 February, 2014

President Nicos Anastasiades is not dealing with a government reshuffle at the moment, especially after the junior coalition Democratic Party decided to break away over disagreement on dealing with the Cyprus problem, spokesman Christos Stylianides said on Monday.

In a written statement Stylianides said “in regards to relevant press reports and information, the President would like to clarify that prior to the final decision of the Democratic Party’s collective bodies, he will not deal with a reshuffling issue”.

The centre-right party’s new leader, Nicolas Papadopoulos, has expressed disagreement with Anastasiades, saying that the Greek Cypriot side is giving up too much in the talks to the Turkish Cypriot side, suggesting that the failed Annan plan of a decade ago would be back in the UN-sponsored talks.

Anastasiades expressed his gratitude towards coalition partner Democratic Party (DIKO) for its cooperation during the “first difficult year” of his government and pointed out the excellent cooperation he had with the DIKO ministers and the party’s leadership.

DIKO currently has four key ministers in cabinet who carry the portfolios of energy, health, defence and education. However, in a narrow 22-15 vote over the weekend, the DIKO central committee voted to break out of the coalition, despite the fact that all four ministers have vowed to stay on and challenged Papadopoulos’ decisions, saying this will split the already-fragmented party.

A recent power struggle, that saw Papadopoulos taking the helm of the party his father led a decade earlier, has already caused damage to the rank and file with public rivalries and comments creating further tension.