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12° Nicosia,
17 July, 2024
 
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Dueling visions from Nicosia's mayoral candidates

Insights from Interviews with Nikos Tornaritis and Charalambos Prountzos on their plans for Nicosia's development

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In the bustling streets of Nicosia, the race for mayoral office is heating up, with candidates Nikos Tornaritis and Charalambos Prountzos vying for the helm of Cyprus's capital city. In exclusive interviews with Kathimerini reporter Apostolos Tomaras, the contenders outlined their bold visions for the city's future, delving into plans for revitalization, municipal reform, and economic growth. As the candidates navigate the intricacies of local governance and grapple with the challenges of urban development, their contrasting perspectives offer a glimpse into the divergent paths that lay ahead for Nicosia.

*Excerpts from the interviews:

Nikos Tornaritis

Nikos Tornaritis, running for Mayor of Nicosia, emphasizes his commitment to the city's interests above partisan affiliations. Despite being a member of DISY, he presents himself as a candidate for all Nicosians. He highlights the challenges facing the capital, including traffic congestion, cleanliness, green spaces, and cooperation with the state. Tornaritis acknowledges public concerns about the ongoing local government reform but emphasizes the need to move forward with its implementation before considering improvements.

If elected, Tornaritis plans to focus on municipal service improvements, cleaning model upgrades, and leveraging modern technologies. He proposes immediate projects like the Engomi Metropolitan Park creation and the re-evaluation of Nicosia's one-way streets. Tornaritis advocates for reopening Makarios for private vehicles at low speeds to alleviate city congestion and implementing park & ride stations. He also emphasizes the importance of commercial revitalization and cultural promotion in the city center.

Regarding finances, Tornaritis stresses the need for increased state funding for Nicosia and proposes partnerships with private investors for major projects. He plans to establish an advisory body around the mayor to ensure inclusivity and collaboration in decision-making.

Charalambos Prountzos

Charalambos Prountzos, another mayoral candidate for Nicosia, intends to leave his law practice if elected, emphasizing the demanding nature of the mayor's role. He sees the local government reform as crucial for Nicosia's future but acknowledges the challenges it presents.

Prountzos emphasizes the need for cultural and operational changes within the municipality, effective financial management, and harmonious cooperation among council members. He supports citizen demands for traffic changes in the city center and prioritizes reform success and cleanliness.

If elected, Prountzos plans to improve the city's cleaning service, complete ongoing projects, and promote major interventions like the State Fair Park and SOPAZ redevelopment. He also aims to enhance Nicosia's smart city infrastructure, expand social programs, and strengthen public procurement and European programs services. Additionally, Prountzos supports re-evaluating traffic arrangements at Makarios and Kalipoleos to address residents' concerns about limited city exit options.

TAGS
Cyprus  |  elections  |  politics

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