He does not trap his party in advance choices, the priority is the cooperation of the opposition parties, there is difficulty for a cooperation with DISY and because the Alarm has already made its decisions, but also because as a ruling party it has “the absolute responsibility “for the bad governance, in the case of DISAKEL he talks about the” then leadership “of the Left party, he admits that he speaks informally with Stefanos Stefanou – but not with Averof Neophytou. These are some of the main points of the interview given to “Politis” by the president of the Democratic Party, Nikolas Papadopoulos, who spoke exclusively about the processes regarding the 2023 presidential elections, avoiding to enter the nomenclature.
Asked about the criteria that will be taken into account in relation to the collaborations, but also the selection of the presidential candidate, Mr. Papadopoulos – referring to “the valuable government experience of the party from the successful DIKO governments of the past” – stood on the party's ability to listen to the society and to form modern, feasible and flexible proposals that support the middle class, the Cypriot society and the Cypriot economy. “The positions of the Democratic Party do not change. What is legitimate and right to do, in the context of cooperation for the presidential elections, is not for the parties to change their positions, but to compose a framework of common positions with respect for the disagreements of both sides. “Good partnerships are built when there is mutual respect and recognition of disagreements and not when attempts are made to hide them,” he added.
Is the autonomous descent in the first round of the presidential elections of '23 in the elections of DIKO?
No option has been ruled out and I would be the last to “trap” the party in any context. Our priority, however, is the cooperation of the opposition parties and this is exactly the priority we are focusing on. If we start to prioritize all the options, then in practice it is like canceling them.
Is the name of the president of DIKO on the table of candidacies undisputed?
We have repeatedly stated that my name is being promoted as the Democratic Party. Beyond that, I would not like to prejudge in any way any decision of the party. Nor is it tempting to start talking about hypothetical synergies, probabilities or contingencies. The journalistic interest of the people to understand and respect the journalistic interest to go one step further, but we must be patient.
With both ends?
DIKO gives the impression that it could cooperate with both DISY and AKEL. How do you agree with one end and the other?
I could argue that what is actually the case is the opposite, ie the possibility for both DISY and AKEL to cooperate with DIKO. Obviously, this possibility stems from the fact that we are the central party of the place, or, as everyone recognizes, especially in Parliament, the regulator of developments and decisions. Beyond that, and regardless of the willingness of the two largest parties to cooperate with DIKO, we give priority to the cooperation of the opposition parties.
Difficulties with DISY
Does DIKO have difficulties in cooperating with DISY? Why;
Undoubtedly and naturally there is difficulty, since the Democratic Party is in opposition and DISY is the ruling party, which has the ultimate responsibility for a bad government of nine years. A government that is plagued by countless and unprecedented scandals of entanglement, corruption, unworthiness and subversion of institutions, a government that has implemented a de facto failed policy in the Cyprus issue, a government that has had no plans and no rationale for confrontational problems of the Cypriot economy and society, after the bankruptcy of 2013. Beyond that – and in addition – it is obvious that the decision already made by DISY for a candidate, does not refer to a mood of mutual cooperation, but more to a mood of candidacy.
DIKO has been talking for years about DISAKEL regarding the solution of the Cyprus problem. On what basis could DIKO now agree on a governance program, either with AKEL or DISY?
Let's take it in order: First of all, there is no one to deny that the failed Anastasiadis policy in the Cyprus issue during his years of rule was supported for a long time by the then AKEL leadership or that we disagreed with this policy. Beyond that, however, our criticism focuses on President Anastasiadis, because he is the one who handled and is handling the Cyprus issue, it is his own unreliability that has made him ineffective and “weak” against the Turkish side or before the United Nations, and his own It is his contradictory or alienating attitude that has called into question the intentions of the Greek Cypriot community. In addition, the occasional unanimous decisions of the National Council, the High Level Agreements, the United Nations Resolutions, the acquis of the European Union, fundamental human rights, but also the legitimate concerns of Cypriots to live and prosper in conditions of security, freedom and democracy, free from any role or any influence of Turkey.
DIKO has been talking for years about corruption in the Anastasiadis-DISY government. On what basis could your party now agree on a governance program with DISY?
We are still talking about this corruption and this entanglement. And defeating them is still our priority. After all, this is what the vast majority of Cypriot society demands and demands. Therefore, in this matter, and regardless of pre-election or presidential elections, the one who must consider his position is DISY and not DIKO.
Does DIKO have substantial differences with DISY and AKEL in matters of economy?
Obviously we have differences, both with DISY and AKEL. Alas. That is why we are different parties, with distinct positions. There are many times when DIKO-AKEL votes together on economic issues, there are many other times when DIKO-DISY votes together, there may be more times when we agree unanimously. It is the regime itself that imposes, if you will, on the parties the formation of alliances in every bill and every bill. Even in the supreme economic bill, ie the State Budget, which we have voted in favor together with DISY, supporting the operation of the state and given that the Audit Office received the naturalization files, we voted together with AKEL, as well as with other parties opposition, heaps of amendments.
Who talks to whom
Are you talking – albeit unofficially – with AKEL and Stefanos Stefanou about the issue of the presidency?
Unofficially, yes. It would be paradoxical not to talk. Unofficially, however, as we have been focusing on the Conference of 6 February all this time and there is no decision on formal consultations.
With DISY and Averof Neophytou?
For the presidential? No. Besides, DISY has made its decisions.
DIKO and EDEK go package in the presidential?
I would not say “let's go package”, but it is true that with EDEK and its people we had a good cooperation in several presidential elections, in 2018, 2008, 2003 and before, and it connects us with a long tradition of understanding and coexistence on several issues . And may this cooperation continue in the future.
Could ELAM be with you on the winners' platform on the night of the presidential election?
There can be no cooperation of DIKO with ELAM.
When will a final decision be made by DIKO?
We would like it to be taken in the spring, so that we have as much time as possible until the elections, precisely in order to better develop the pre-election action that we have to develop, in order to convince the citizens and the society.
Politicians and society
How close to society and the electorate is the political system of Cyprus today?
Not as much as it should, unfortunately. And this phenomenon is reflected in every electoral contest in recent years… In any case, the distance between society and the political staff must be reduced. And it is the political staff that must move towards society, not society towards us. And, equally important, is to be an example to be imitated, in the way we govern and the way we live, and not an example to be avoided, as is the case with the phenomena of entanglement and corruption that have so badly damaged the dignity and intelligence of the people and the relationship. of the people with the political staff.
Honest, ethical, reliable
What President does Cyprus need in 2023?
A president that the Cypriot people should be proud of. A president with an ethos, consistent, efficient, reliable, who has clear positions, who is honest, who has a plan, who listens, who works hard and who will have a sense of the institution he is called to serve.