by Yiannis Ioannou
As the new year becomes more visible in terms of the dynamics it brings to Cyprus on all levels, 2023 will be remembered not only as an "election year," but also as the end of innocence after Anastasiades' ten-year reign. As the first Sunday of the presidential election approaches in less than a month, the old adage "no one is saved" takes on new meaning.
let us hope that, in addition to health and peace, which are essential components of living in Cyprus, we will see much-needed improvements in our private and public lives in the coming years
Electoral behavior is not as rational for the majority of people as recruitment among journalists, political analysts, and political scientists. On 5 February, the average Cypriot will not judge the next president solely on the political legacy of the ten-year Anastasiades administration. He will choose both the image, the person who will do his job, and - to a lesser extent this time - the candidate of his party out of obligation to a part of his own identity, not ideological purity.
The next day is critical for every political force: for the Right in terms of how it will be shaped the next day, particularly if DISY's candidacy does not pass in the second round and the party is forced to answer whether or not to participate in a Christodoulides government. The stakes for the Left, which, barring an unlikely event, will find itself out of power for the third time - and 15 years will seem long enough in 2028 - are whether it can ever find itself on the path to victory again. Finally, for the so-called "intermediate space," it will be determined whether Christodoulides' election will actually be the catalyst for its renewal or whether it will instead result in a break in the coalition with a brief period of political life before both DIKO and EDEK lose power, as has historically been the case with these parties in DISY and AKEL governments.
Of course, the challenge also pertains to Mr. Christodoulides himself, a favorite in the upcoming elections who has indeed demonstrated the image of popularity and general acceptance but who remains a case of a politician who, as foreign minister, has not demonstrated great signs of writing but who is also a part of the Anastasiades decade. But even after all of this, there are still issues. 2023 will be a challenging year for the Cyprus issue and the Cypriot economy, but it will also be a year in which the average Cypriot's sense of justice will likely continue to be challenged. People will still die on the country's streets or wait an hour to get to work, young professionals will continue to work for 800 or 1000 euros while "Yannakis" dominate, and patients at the General Hospital's emergency room will still have to wait five hours to be seen. And that the typical Cypriot views himself as the center of the universe because he has the attitude of a poor devil who arrogantly seeks the greatest profit with the least amount of effort. I wonder if there is a solution to change all this? Certainly, a presidential election is not the solution. It takes far more than a simple shift in power. However, without the latter's leadership, it will be impossible to meet even a small portion of the country's critical needs.
So, for 2023, let us hope that, in addition to health and peace, which are essential components of living in Cyprus, we will see much-needed improvements in our private and public lives in the coming years. Regardless of power or politics, we must begin with our personal example at the most basic level of our personal community. Without these changes, we cannot confront power nor, more importantly, stand up to it with a critical attitude and a willingness to compromise, which is sorely lacking on the island of transactions. That's all for now, and have a wonderful New Year!
[This article was translated from its Greek original]