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21 April, 2024
 
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One year in: Challenges mount for President Nikos Christodoulides

As President Christodoulides grapples with declining popularity and political complexities, questions arise about his leadership and ability to tackle pressing issues.

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In today's Sunday edition of Kathimerini, journalist Marina Economidou delves into the intricate dynamics of President Nikos Christodoulides' first year.  Amidst high expectations, President Nikos Christodoulides encountered a tumultuous first year, witnessing a striking decline in public approval and facing critiques for governance missteps. As he sought connection through public engagements, concerns mounted over perceived negligence of crucial issues. This summary delves into the challenges Christodoulides confronts, exploring the pitfalls of his presidency, the intricate dynamics of party politics, and the pressing need for strategic coherence, especially in addressing the Cyprus problem and navigating economic complexities.

One year of wear and tear and four years of pressure

In the first year of his presidency, Nikos Christodoulides, once hailed as a political phenomenon, witnessed a sharp decline in public approval, marked by missteps in governance. Despite the president's efforts to connect with the public through school visits and events, criticism has mounted for what some perceive as a lack of attention to crucial issues while focusing on optics.

The deterioration in Christodoulides' image coincided with key events, including the formation of his cabinet, a prolonged reshuffle leak, and the failure of the Advisory Council. Acknowledging his party's orphan status, the president faces challenges from both political parties and society, demanding coherent governance, resolution to the Cyprus problem, and attention to economic and energy concerns.

The downward trend raises questions about the president's ability to navigate party politics, as his image diminishes, leaving him vulnerable to manipulation by supporting parties. The danger of a vicious cycle emerges, with declining ratings for both Christodoulides and his supporting parties. Political maneuvering, such as Nicolas Papadopoulos' Cyprus initiative, adds complexity to the landscape, threatening the president's stability.

As Christodoulides faces pressure from both parties and society, the accuracy of policies becomes crucial. The need for cautious economic moves is emphasized, especially after the partial restoration of the ATA, contributing to concerns about payroll expansion and budget allocation. The energy sector, particularly the terminal scandal inherited from the previous government, adds to the challenges the president must address.

Navigating the Cyprus problem presents another delicate task for Christodoulides, as his moderate approach clashes with internal and external expectations. The insistence on resuming talks from the Crans Montana point and the appointment of a UN Secretary General's special envoy signal a potential mobilization on the Cyprus issue. The question remains whether Christodoulides can garner support from key political players, including DISY, and maintain stability amid a contentious political landscape.

Read the full article in Kathimerini's printed edition today

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