Published 3rd May, 2011
The Democratic Rally or DISY was founded in 1976 by Glafcos Clerides as a conservative, pro-Western party from elements of the former Progressive Front and United and Democratic National Party. The party describes itself as a centre-right party which supported the Annan Plan for the re-unification of Cyprus.
The new party won 27.5% of the vote in its first election in 1976 but no seats because of the prevailing electoral system. In 1981, with a new proportional voting system DISY took 32% of the vote and 12 of the 35 seats in parliament. In 1985 DISY became the largest party with 19 seats in the enlarged 56 seat parliament.
In 1991 and 1996 the Democratic Rally won 20 seats and was the largest party. In 1993 its founder, Glafcos Clerides won the presidential election with 50.3% of the vote in a second round runoff and held the position until 2003.
In 2001 DISY slipped to second place with 19 seats and 34% of the vote and in 2006 took 18 seats and 30.3% of the vote, coming joint first with the Progressive Party of Working People.
Support of the Annan Plan led to a split in the party in 2004 and the founding of a new party, European Democracy.
The Democratic Rally is a member of Centrist Democrat International, the International Democrat Union and the European People’s Party.