The Central Committee of the Left party met yesterday and ratified the AKEL ballots in view of the parliamentary elections of May 30, 2021. The process did not lack last minute changes, as during the meeting of the Central Committee the non-participation in the ballot was formalized. of Limassol for the Russian-born Yulia Komninos (Afxentis Zemenidis on the ballot), as well as Monica Melekki in Larnaca (Alexis Alekou on the ballot). These are changes that occurred last Friday and were adopted by the Central Committee. The remaining 54 that have been ratified are all those who were elected by the party's internal party processes throughout the previous period (District Committees, District Conferences). Just 13 female appearances on the ballot (5 in Nicosia, 3 in Limassol, 2 in Famagusta, 1 in Paphos, 1 in Larnaca and 1 in Kyrenia). The 38 candidates are on the AKEL ballot for the first time for the parliamentary elections, while 18 have claimed re-election, either in 2016 or 2011. Out of the 56 candidates, 35 have participation or position in the party's collective bodies (POGO, EKA , District Committee, Central Committee, Politburo or Party Secretariat).
Statistics always have their importance and partly determine the electoral and quantitative goals of AKEL. Therefore, one of the main issues that troubled the Left party throughout the ballot formation process was that the party over the past 10 years has seen some 40,000 citizens leave the pool of voters for a number of years. for various reasons. AKEL in 2006 secured a percentage of 31.13% (131,066 votes) and emerged as the first party, in 2011 a percentage of 31.67% (132,171 votes), while in 2016 it fell to 25.67% (90,204 votes). It has lost 6% over the years, a fact that makes the return of these voters to AKEL as its primary goal. At the same time, however, the need to get rid of the stigma of corruption that now affects all political spaces could not be ignored.
Where is it aimed…
There are many who wonder what AKEL is aiming for in these parliamentary elections, as it is – in percentage terms – the largest opposition party, at a time when scandals of corruption and entanglement prevail, while the management of the pandemic is an additional field of criticism against the government. However, AKEL – for the time being at least – does not seem to be able to (polling) to redeem the above data in its favor, due to incidents such as that of Christakis Tziovanis (Al Jazeera video), but also various other circumstances, such as its non-implementation party conference that would bring a possible air of renewal and dynamics (possible changes in the procedures at a later stage). A basic condition for AKEL's electoral success is the increase of percentages, but also the avoidance of mistakes that expose the party of the Left. The first goal, as we have already mentioned, is the return of as many progressive voters as possible, who in recent years for some reason were removed from AKEL. And they left mainly disappointed (after the Christofias government) due to the difficulty of managing individual incidents reported by the party in recent years, while some former executives were removed due to disagreement over internal party procedures as they apply. After all, a portion of voters are calling for modernization and change. AKEL's aim is to form an image of a party that can stand by those in need, with seriousness and consistency, party sources told “P”. An additional goal is to get as many percentages as possible from citizens that would lead to the abstention or support of another party-movement (ie to avoid voter turnout). The third goal has to do with attracting those voters who maintain a clear position for a DDO solution and cooperation with the Turkish Cypriots. Emphasis is also placed (fourth goal) through specific options, both in the field of education and in the field of culture, as AKEL considers that these two sectors have suffered a huge blow and need further support. Through specific options he also wants to give the feeling of renewal of personalities on the ballots (however, party executives prevail in number).
First-class and young
In Nicosia, AKEL in the respective parliamentary elections of 2016 secured a percentage of 23.89% (29,288 votes), while in 2011 31.81% (45,261 votes). From 2011 to 2016 there was a decrease of around 8%, while a seat for the party of the Left was lost. This means that there is a lot of work to be done in terms of attracting votes. In addition to the first-class executives, such as the secretary general of AKEL Andros Kyprianou (2011, 2016), the parliamentary spokesman George Loukaidis (2011, 2016), the spokesman Stefanos Stefanou (2016), the provincial secretary Christos Christofidis (also claimed in 2016) and the MPs Irini 2016, ) and Aristos Damianou (2011,2016), the other people who make up the ballot are new in relation to the ballot of the parliamentary elections of 2016 and 2011. The people who fill in the ballot (in random order) are Haris Polykarpou, Giannos Socratous (former president of OELMEK), Leontios Filotheou, Popi Avraam (actor), Severos Koulas, Thomas Thomas, Apostolos Skouroupatis (teacher), Marina Stavrinou Koukou, Betty Kousoulidou, Lefros Kouloutzos, Chrystalos Karopou Polos .
Limassol: Interesting “duels”
In Limassol, the Left Party secured 24.93% (17,893 votes) in the previous parliamentary elections and 30.71% (25,598 votes) in the 2011 elections. From 2011 to 2016, a seat was lost for AKEL in the specific province. which indicates the work that needs to be done to attract votes. Andros Kafkalias (2011, 2016), Costas Costa (2011, 2016) and the provincial secretary George Georgiou (2016) are re-claiming elections. Argentoulla Ioannou, a runner-up in the previous elections, is also claiming a seat with the Left party, as is the party's former MEP and former minister, Neoklis Silikiotis. Petros Kleanthous is on the ballot, as in 2016, while for the first time Marina Nikolaou, Afxentis Zemenidis, Petros Giannakas and Rania Georgiou, Michalis Panagis from the New Forces are running for the vote of the people of Limassol in the parliamentary elections. Julia Komninos was finally left out of the ballot as she withdrew her candidacy by mutual consent with AKEL. The main reason for the concerns that arose on the part of AKEL, has to do -according to information- with the fact that no rights are given for commenting and creating false impressions in a particularly sensitive period.
Sand with peculiarities
In the province of Famagusta, from 36.98% (30,802 votes) secured by AKEL in 2011, it fell to 30.69% (22,098 votes) in 2016, as a result of which it lost a seat in this province as well. This is the province where Christakis Tziovanis was elected MP in 2016, but also in 2011, by AKEL, who resigned after the famous video of Al Jazeera. Famagusta is a bet for the party of the Left and for the recent developments with the opening of the enclosed city on the Ankara-Tatar side, turned everyone's eyes to this province. The peculiarity of Famagusta as a constituency lies in the fact that the voters are scattered in free Famagusta, Larnaca, Limassol and Nicosia mainly. With the AKEL ballot, the current MP Nikos Kettiros is running for re-election (he ran in 2011, he was elected in 2016), as well as the MP Giannakis Gabriel (2011, he succeeded Ch. Tziovanis in 2020). Also claiming are the provincial secretary Chrysanthos Zannetos, Giorgos Koukoumas, Gianna Iakovou (New Forces, RIK journalist), the internationalist Pampos Chrysostomou (also claimed in 2016), Christos Kypris (doctor at the hospital) 19 Costa (Pele), Thoukis Thoukididis, Georgia Tsalakou and Petros Hiras.
Larnaca: Change to para five
In Larnaca, AKEL was the first party in 2016 with a percentage of 29.36% (10,811 votes), despite the fall of 6.6% from the percentages of 2011 (35.92% and 10,588 votes). At the last minute and before the Central Committee on Saturday, Monica Melekki informed about her intention not to claim a seat in the Parliament, paving the way for the inclusion of the candidate in the internal party process Alexis Alekou on the ballot. MPs Evanthia Savva and Andreas Passiourtidis are re-claiming, while Panikos Xiourouppas, Stavros Agathou, Michalis Michail will also fight for a seat on the ballot, while, as we said, Alexis Alekou also took a place on the ballot.
Battle of Kyrenia
One of the most interesting duels in relation to the election result is expected to be given in the province of Kyrenia, where Eleni Mavrou is re-claiming, while the former MP Pambos Papageorgiou (2011) returns to the AKEL ballot. For the first time in the province of Kyrenia, Christos Christofias, General Organizer of the Nicosia-Kyrenia District, is claiming a seat. In 2016, AKEL secured a percentage of 25.83% (4,692 votes), while it showed a decrease of 10.1% compared to the percentage of 35.9% (7571 votes) that it secured in the 2011 elections.
In Paphos they are looking for one…
The non-reclaiming of the seat in Paphos by Andreas Fakontis, paves the way for the four contenders to be thrown into battle with claims. Costas Mavrommatis (claimed in 2011), Vangelis Stylianou, Maria Papalazarou Frangou and Valentinos Fakontis are the elected members of the Left party. AKEL in Paphos in 2016 secured a percentage of 18.06% (5422 votes) presenting a decrease of 6.3% from the 2011 elections (24.12% and 7,851 votes).