The dilemma in view of the February 2023 elections is the continuation of stability or experimentation, President Anastasiades said on Saturday, as the presidential campaign continues. Presidential hopefuls raised various issues ranging from the Cyprus problem, the economy, agriculture, refugees, infrastructure projects and “hate speech” expressed in the last Plenary session of the Parliament.
Addressing a gathering in Athens organized by the ruling right-wing Democratic Rally (DISY) branch of Greece, President Anastasiades referred to the achievements of his ten-year administration, recalling that he assumed a state with no access to borrowing and he delivers an economy with a 6% growth rate in conditions of full employment.
“This is Cyprus we deliver today and this is Cyprus which we want to survive living in conditions of occupation. This stability and economic growth set the dilemma between the continuation of stability or experimentation, he said.
Turning to the participants, Anastasiades expressed regret as “one former member of his government is one of those posing the dilemma to all of you” and added the only choice should be Averof Neofytou as he was my closest associate in the success achieved by the Cypriot government.
On his part, speaking at the same event, Neofytou, DISY President and presidential candidate, said Cyprus could continue the steady course during Anastasiades’ ten-year administration.
“The message sent everywhere is not to play with our country. We need a continuation of stability and security not to jeopardize what we have achieved so far.”
While in Athens, Neofytou also met with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen who was visiting Greece for the European Peoples Party leaders summit. According to a press release issued by DISY, Neofytou said after the meeting that he discussed with von der Leyen the war in Ukraine, the energy crisis, the Cyprus problem, the Cypriot Recovery and Resilience Plan as well his vision for the coming five years.
On his part, Andreas Mavroyiannis, the independent presidential candidate backed by left-wing AKEL, said in a written statement issued after visiting the Karpasia peninsula in the Turkish-occupied part of Cyprus that the slogan “Never forget” “should remain high in our consciousness.”
“Our past awaits us at the other side of the barbed wire, our lives that we left mid-way, our people, as well as the future itself,” he said, “the future we could have in a reunited country.”
Moreover, addressing an event of the National Union of Cypriot Farmers (EKA) on Friday night, Mavroyiannis said Cyprus needs an outward-looking modern and sustainable agriculture that can respond to European Standards, competing on a high level of quality and food security.
Nikos Christodoulides, former Foreign Minister and an independent presidential candidate backed by the center Democratic Party (DIKO), the Social Democrats (EDEK) and DIPA presented his proposals on the refugees following the 1974 Turkish invasion.
He said that there was no equal support among the refugees, adding that until the settlement of the Cyprus problem, the state should respond in a fair way to the refugees always within the state’s fiscal capabilities.
On the Cyprus problem, Christodoulides said that if the public honors him with his vote, his primary target will be the solution to the Cyprus problem within the agreed framework of the United Nations and the EU’s values and principles.
Furthermore, Giorgos Kolokasides, also an independent candidate addressed a gathering organized by the Green party against planned infrastructure projects in the Municipalities of Engomi, Strovolos and Aglantzia, said that these projects should be halted until the completion of the Urban Sustainable Mobility Scheme is completed.
On his part, Constantinos Christofides, an independent candidate representing Neo Kima/Volt Cyprus presented his plan for LGBT+ equality, criticizing comments made in the Parliament’s plenary during the debate on the law on sex education in schools. Noting that inappropriate behaviors have no place in democracy and modern society, Christofides said the remarks made by Andreas Themistocleous, an independent MP, were “unacceptable and should not be tolerated by anybody.”