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17 September, 2019
 
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The cost of playing fast and loose

Conventional parties resort to political wizardry as right wing quietly hunts for votes

Andreas Paraschos

Andreas Paraschos

"Life imitates art far more than art imitates life" according to the genius Irish writer Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) and this maxim summarizes in a nutshell The Cyprus Oscar Wilde Festival taking place between March 1 and 16.

Back in those days, Wilde had the nerve to file libel charges against the Marquess of Queensberry, who was the father of his lover Lord Alfred Douglas, even though the writer knew homosexuality was a criminal offence and he could end up in prison, which he did. The often unrestrained and spirited writer, poet, playwright, and columnist had a unique way to expose the hypocrisy in the way of life of the high intellectual and upper social circles in London.

The truth is rarely pure and never simple

The other day, as I was going over some reliable surveys commissioned by the European Parliament to look into the perception of the electoral power of political parties in every EU member state, I revisited another quote from Oscar Wilde that said “the truth is rarely pure and never simple.”

In Cyprus the survey was conducted between 21 September 2018 and 18 February 2019, and it showed that DISY is ahead with 39% of the vote, followed by AKEL with 18%, DIKO with 15%, ELAM with 11%, the Green party with 4%, Solidarity movement with 2%, EDEK with 1%, and other parties with a combined 8%.

In other words ELAM is in fourth place but it could also finish third, depending on how many votes are stripped away from DIKO following Marios Karoyian’s departure from the party to form the new DIPA but also how many total votes ELAM can draw in.

While other parties are competing over petty politics by making calculations and performing election wizardry, ELAM is doing the rounds quietly to convert voters and bring them over using a hateful, racist ideology of intolerance. An ideology that thrives when the education system lags behind and institutions are being brought down.

How did Cyprus manage to reach such a humiliating low point after a treacherous and disastrous military coup?

Education Minister Kostas Champiaouris, who visited ELAM last year on March 28 after assuming office, is in agreement with this ideology. The minister who spoke following remarks by the party’s leader Christos Christou, said among other things that “I want you to know that the values and principles you have mentioned are common with the values and principles that we share.”

These values and principles held by the ELAM leader, who was once on personal staff as adjutant to Greece’s Golden Dawn leader Nikos Michaloliakos, are also stated principles by Michaloliakos himself: “we are the ones sown by the defeated of 1945, the nationalists, national socialists, fascists.” In other words, the dissemination of hitler-fascism known for concentration camps and crematoria.

How did Cyprus manage to reach such a humiliating low point after a treacherous and disastrous military coup?

Conventional wisdom would say that a fish rots from the head down. And all this was the result of having a political leadership that never believed in the Republic of Cyprus. They were undermining it from the very beginning which resulted in late 1963 to start breaking into pieces.

In July 1974, the junta and EOKA B blew up the walls and the Turkish army came and took over half of the island. In December 1974, Makarios acting as supreme law extended an olive branch to everyone. And so the biggest crime against Cyprus remained unpunished.

And since then, all the big crimes in this country took place with political parties taking part or even covering it up to the point where we now see institutions falling apart one after the other. We have reached a point of self-mockery by the president of the Supreme Court, with the whole situation heading towards disintegration as the fascist ELAM party was seated in the House in 2016 with almost 4% and now gets into the European Parliament with 14% while conventional political parties continue to slip into chaos while playing dumb.

In conclusion, to paraphrase Wilde in the spirit of self-improvement, let’s just say that “our theatrical play was tragedy and the audience was failure…”

 

The article was first published by Kathimerini Cyprus on 10 March 2019

TAGS
Cyprus  |  election  |  MEP  |  Europe  |  right wing  |  nationalism  |  politics  |  Paraschos  |  ELAM  |  fascism  |  Oscar Wilde  |  Disy  |  Diko  |  Akel  |  Dipa  |  Edek  |  Elam  |  Green  |  Makarios  |  Supreme Court  |  Golden Dawn  |  Greece

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