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24 September, 2023
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Building defense, innovation and a better future for our children

Here are the latest talking points from presidential candidates on the campaign trail

Source: CNA

Candidates for the presidential elections that will take place in February 2023 continue their pre-election campaign with meetings, events and announcements on various issues.

We have the highest defence budget of the last twenty years, said the President of DISY and candidate for the Presidency of the Republic, Averof Neofytou on Thursday, noting that as long as a part of Cyprus remains illegally occupied, we have a national obligation to strengthen the deterrence capability of the National Guard and to prioritise quality and intelligent defence against Turkey.

Neofytou, who was speaking after his meeting with the Minister of Defence, Charalambos Petrides, at the Ministry of Defence, thanked the Minister and his collaborators for the "comprehensive update on the situation of the National Guard, the armament programmes, as well as the further geostrategic situation of our region". He expressed his satisfaction over the fact that according to data "this year we have the highest budget in the last twenty years for defence armament systems".

As long as the Turkish occupation of Cyprus continues, we have a national obligation to strengthen the deterrence capacity of the National Guard and, compared to the size of Turkey, we prioritise quality and intelligent defence", Neophytou noted, adding that this can be done "with a flexible army with state-of-the-art armament programmes".

Meanwhile, the candidate for the Presidency of the Republic, Andreas Mavroyiannis, visited the Cyprus Institute on Thursday morning, where he was informed about its achievements in recent years, stressing that it "embodies the best that this country can have" in the areas of innovation, research and technology.

Speaking with the members of the Institute's administration, Mavroyiannis noted that he was following the first efforts to establish the Institute, when "the main concern and request was for the Institute to be pioneering and to be able to contribute practically to the needs of research in Cyprus, in Europe and in the world, at a time before Cyprus even entered the EU". He added that "the Cyprus Institute, to this day, remains the beacon of what is for us our main pursuit".

In his statements after the meeting, Mavroyiannis expressed his joy for this visit, saying that for him, the Cyprus Institute "expresses and embodies the best that this place can have, in terms of the future in the fields of innovation, research, technology, global distinction in these fields and many others.'

Every day I experience an organised attempt, by some, to slander and explicate me in an argumentative debate that will escalate, said presidential candidate Nicos Christodoulides on Wednesday night, adding that in a democracy the solution is always given by the people, not through intimidation, blackmail, or threats.

Speaking at a pre-election event in Polemidia, Limassol, in the presence of the Presidents of DIKO and EDEK, Christodoulides said that his goal and vision are clear, "to build a better Cyprus for our children and to offer every citizen of this country a better standard of living and a decent everyday life".

In order to achieve this, he added, "we must continue to work tirelessly, be united and counteract the very toxic climate that some people deliberately cultivate to confuse us, divide the people and create polarisation".

The four independent candidates for the Presidency of the Republic, Achilleas Dimitriades, Marios Eliades, Christodoulos Protopapas and Constantinos Christofides, declare that they are willing to put aside personal ambitions for the sake of the common good. The four met on Wednesday in order to continue the dialogue for the nomination of a common candidate in the upcoming presidential elections and according to a joint statement they issued, they found once again that "what unites us is more than what divides us".

The four candidates, an announcement says, believe in solving the Cyprus problem based on a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation, in the relentless fight against corruption, nepotism and the client state and in the pursuit of a new development model based on ecology, the knowledge economy and social justice.

The four declare themselves willing to set aside "personal ambitions for the sake of the common good, thus bringing a new ethos to political life." For us, politics is a bidding war and we will continue this way until the end, they conclude.


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