Movement for Social Democracy

Movement for Social Democracy

Κίνημα Σοσιαλδημοκρατών
LeaderMarinos Sizopoulos
FounderVasos Lyssaridis
HeadquartersNicosia, Cyprus
Political positionCentre-left
European affiliationParty of European Socialists
International affiliationProgressive Alliance
Socialist International
European Parliament groupProgressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats
Colors Red, Green, Gold
House of Representatives
3 / 56
European Parliament
0 / 6
Municipal Councils
37 / 478

The Movement for Social Democracy (Greek: Κίνημα Σοσιαλδημοκρατών Kinima Sosialdimokraton, EDEK) is a Greek Cypriot nationalist,[3] social-democratic[1][2] political party in Cyprus.


The party was founded by Vasos Lyssaridis in 1969 as the United Democratic Union of Centre, EDEK (Greek: Ενιαία Δημοκρατική Ένωση Κέντρου, ΕΔΕΚ, Eniaia demokratiki enosi kentrou). It was originally a strongly anti-imperialist Third World socialist[4] party with roots in the struggle against British colonial rule, influenced by the philosophies of Baathism, Muammar Gaddafi[2] and Nasserism,[3] and by the 1968 movement. Since the early 1980s, EDEK has evolved into a European-style social-democratic party. It has however not given up its nationalist orientations.[5] The party changed its name to "Movement for Social Democracy" in 2000.[6]

EDEK is led by Marinos Sizopoulos and is a member of the Party of European Socialists and Socialist International.


Formation and early years

Members were drawn from the committee for re-establishment of democracy in Greece, and fighters from Lyssaridis's group during the 1964 clashes between Greek and Turkish Cypriots. Lyssaridis was the personal physician of Archbishop Makarios III, the first president of independent Cyprus, whom the party supported. The party's name was inspired by Greek's Centre Union (EK) of Georgios Papandreou. It positioned itself in "the space inbetween" (neither left nor right).[7] EDEK had links to the international Non-Aligned Movement and was opposed to the right-wing Colonels' regime in Greece.[8] Many of the party's members were part of the armed resistance to the 15 July 1974 coup against Makarios. The leader of the youth section of the party, Doros Loizou, was shot and killed in an attempt to murder Lyssaridis in August 1974.

Several members of the party's youth section (EDEN) with Trotskyist tendencies were expelled between 1979 and 1984 and formed Aristeri Pteryga (Left Wing).

During the late 1990s, EDEK negotiated with several minor parties, planning to merge all political forces between the communist AKEL and the conservative DISY into a major centrist party. It merged with two small groups, the Renewal Movement and the Independent Personalities Group, in February 2000. This was marked by its name change to "Movement for Social Democracy" (KISOS), which was also intended to bring the party closer to European social democratic parties in terms of both values and appearance. However, only two months after the merger, the members of the Renewal Movement left, citing a "lack of trust" vis-à-vis old EDEK members. Therefore, basically "the new KISOS was the old EDEK".[6]

21st century

In the 2001 general elections EDEK won 6.5% of the votes cast and 4 of the 56 seats in the House of Representatives of Cyprus. EDEK was one of the most outspoken opponents of the Annan Plan for the reunification of Cyprus, which was voted on, and ultimately rejected by the Greek Cypriot community in the 2004 referendum.[9] In the elections of 21 May 2006, the first since the referendum, the party increased its vote share to 8.9%, and won 5 out of 56 seats.

EDEK backed Dimitris Christofias of the Progressive Party of Working People (AKEL) in the second round of the February 2008 presidential election. On the proposal of EDEK's Political Bureau, 109 members of its Central Committee voted in favor of supporting Christofias, five voted against, and two abstained.[10] In February 2010 EDEK quit from the government coalition due to its dispute concerning the decisions of Dimitris Christofias in the Cyprus Problem.[11][12]

The party leader, Yiannakis Omirou, was elected as President of the House of Representatives of the Republic of Cyprus, following the 2011 general elections, in which EDEK obtained 8.93% of the votes and five seats in Parliament.

In the February 2013 presidential election, EDEK backed the independent candidate Yiorgos Lillikas. The former minister of foreign affairs in Tassos Papadopoulos' cabinet. In the second round, EDEK decided not to back any other candidate, neither the DISY candidate Nicos Anastasiades, or AKEL candidate Stavros Malas.

In January 2015, House President Yiannakis Omirou resigned from EDEK's leadership. In March he was succeeded by his deputy Marinos Sizopoulos.[13]

Election results

House of Representatives
Election Votes Seats
# % Rank # ±
1970 12,996 8.3 4th new
1976 With DIKO and AKEL Increase 2
1981 23,772 8.2 4th Decrease 1
1985 35,371 11.1 4th Increase 3
1991 37,264 10.9 4th Increase 1
1996 30,033 8.1 4th Decrease 2
2001 26,767 6.5 4th Decrease 1
2006 37,533 8.9 4th Increase 1
2011 36,113 8.9 4th Steady 0
2016 21,732 6.2 4th Decrease 2

Prominent members

Presidents of the Movement

Current Members of Parliament

  • Kostis Eustathiou, Nicosia Constituency
  • Marinos Sizopoulos, Limassol Constituency
  • Elias Meirianthous, Pafos Constituency


  1. ^ a b Nordsieck, Wolfram (2016). "Cyprus". Parties and Elections in Europe.
  2. ^ a b c Hayriye Kahveci (2013). Cyprus. The Palgrave Handbook of Social Democracy in the European Union. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 71.
  3. ^ a b c Andrekos Varnava; Christalla Yakinthou (2011). Cyprus: Political Modernity and the Structures of Democracy in a Divided Island. The Oxford Handbook of Local and Regional Democracy in Europe. Oxford University Press. p. 469.
  4. ^ Giorgos Charalambous (2015). The Party Politics of the Problem Resolving Cyprus: New Approaches to Conflict Resolution. I.B. Tauris. p. 50.
  5. ^ Christophoros Christophorou (2009). The Evolution of Greek Cypriot Party Politics. The Government and Politics of Cyprus. Peter Lang. p. 103.
  6. ^ a b Hayriye Kahveci (2013). Cyprus. The Palgrave Handbook of Social Democracy in the European Union. Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 71–72.
  7. ^ Christophoros Christophorou (2009). The Evolution of Greek Cypriot Party Politics. The Government and Politics of Cyprus. Peter Lang. p. 90.
  8. ^ Christophoros Christophorou (2009). The Evolution of Greek Cypriot Party Politics. The Government and Politics of Cyprus. Peter Lang. p. 89.
  9. ^ Christophoros Christophorou (2009). The Evolution of Greek Cypriot Party Politics. The Government and Politics of Cyprus. Peter Lang. p. 97.
  10. ^ "Cyprus Socialists supports Christofia’s candidacy"[permanent dead link], Financial Mirror, February 21, 2008.
  11. ^ Nikos Chasapopoulos (2010-02-09). Τριγμοί στην κυβέρνηση Χριστόφια - Αποχώρησε η ΕΔΕΚ (in Greek). To Vima. Retrieved 2010-08-03.
  12. ^ "EDEK withdraws from Cyprus government coalition". FinancialMirror. 2010-02-09. Retrieved 2010-08-03.[permanent dead link]
  13. ^ "CYPRUS: Socialists elect new leader, aim for 2016 elections". Financial Mirror. 2 March 2015.

External links

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