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24 May, 2024
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Turkish Cypriot properties a thorny issue on the campaign trail

Cyprus' presidential candidates are touring the island to get their messages across

Source: CNA

Candidates for the Presidential Elections that will take place in February 2023 paid a series of visits on Tuesday and Wednesday to villages, agencies and institutions while criticizing the government on various issues such as the management of the Turkish Cypriot properties in the government-controlled areas.

The mixed village of Pyla in the Larnaca district was visited on Tuesday by independent Presidential candidate Andreas Mavroyiannis. During a meeting with members of the Pyla Community Council, he was briefed on the longstanding problems the community is facing and the projects that need to be undertaken to further develop the community.

Mavroyiannis said Pyla is a model of cohabitation with the Turkish Cypriot community and an area where the two communities co-exist. However, despite the positive aspect of the situation, it is also a condition that allows certain elements which are either criminal or illegal and which affect the social fabric of the community and therefore solutions are necessary.

He urged the Cypriot government as well as the United Nations to undertake their responsibilities and protect the rights of the people of Pyla.

Meanwhile, Mavroyiannis today visited industrial businesses in Ayios Athanasios in Limassol. In a statement after visiting a dairy and a pharmaceutical company, Mavroyiannis said that they are model units, which have reached very high levels of production, safety, and marketing standards and prove that business in Cyprus can be renowned.

In his first event to present his pre-election program, independent candidate Nikos Christodoulides talked about a perpetual relationship between knowledge and developing the mind and body. This relationship started in the ancient Greek civilization and has proved to be infallible to this day.

Christodoulides’ positions are outlined on his website. He referred to investing in empirical learning to cultivate a critical and creative spirit so that students will abandon the process of memorization. He also referred to modernizing the existing teachers’ evaluation system and the academic work and linking the education system with the labor market.

He further talked about sports diplomacy, sports tourism, attracting small and medium-scale events and the construction and operation of the first Paralympic Center in Cyprus with indoor and outdoor sports, recreation and social venues.

Christodoulides also had a meeting today with members of the board of directors of the Radio and Television Authority, during which he discussed issues related to the institutional framework, the code of ethics and the equal treatment of candidates in view of the presidential elections by television channels and radio stations.

Presidential candidate Marios Eliades visited on Wednesday the Cyprus Institute. He pointed out that the Institute contributes decisively to the evolution of the Cypriot society, from a society of industrial culture to a society of the digital age.

The state, he said, owes a lot to the Cyprus Institute, and assured that in the event he is elected he will support the Institute so that it contributes even more effectively to the evolution of Cypriot society, which, as he said, is a request of the modern age.

Meanwhile, candidates criticized the management of the Turkish Cypriot properties in the government-controlled areas. Mavroyiannis said that the Republic of Cyprus, as a legitimate state and as the government of the country, has a responsibility and must preserve the status of Turkish Cypriot properties. Their uncontrolled exploitation to the benefit of others is not accepted, he said, adding that it is necessary to fully investigate and clarify every case of violation or abuse.

Independent presidential candidate Giorgos Kolokasides said that the new allegations of exploitation, involving high-ranking officials and party officials, must be investigated immediately.

He called for thorough control and severe punishment adding that the "corruption of the few cannot suppress the dreams of the many".

Those who are responsible must face the consequences and those who are incompetent must be removed, he noted.

Marios Eliades' press office refers to the issue by noting that after intense pressure from the media, the government was forced, despite its initial objections, to submit to the Parliament the list of officials of the Turkish Cypriot Property Management Office and its advisers, who hold either themselves or their close relatives, Turkish Cypriot properties, calling for an immediate and in-depth investigation of this list to ascertain whether there was favoritism or any criminal or disciplinary offense during the procedures for approving and granting the specific properties.

Meanwhile, the Council of Ministers approved today, in view of the presidential elections to be held in February 2023, arrangements in relation to the visits of the presidential candidates and/or their representatives and/or leaders and delegations of political parties supporting their candidacy to government departments.

Cyprus  |  elections  |  campaign

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