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Saturday, April 1, 2023

Post-election X-ray in the Center area – The changing balances and the gaps that emerged through the ballot box

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Post-election X-ray in the Center area - The changing balances and the gaps that emerged through the ballot box

The Center's space is a frequently changing environment in which a portion of the electorate does not remain stable at the level of party choice, resulting in differentiating the data per election contest and highlighting new trends and gaps. Last Sunday's election result confirmed, among other things, that there is a stable percentage of Cypriot voters moving in the Center (around 30%). Shifts were observed between parties once again, with a portion of voters of the Center choosing parties-formations that move theoretically in the area of the Center, but did not manage to enter Parliament. The dynamic entry of DIPA in Parliament (with 4 deputies and a percentage of 6.1%) in its first appearance in parliamentary elections, in combination with the decrease observed in DIKO (11.3% instead of 14.49% in 2016) and The failure of the Solidarity Movement to secure a percentage that would allow it to enter Parliament shows a tendency towards a more moderate, consensual, combinatorial approach to issues, including the Cyprus issue. The number of seats of MPs / three who do not want a solution to the ICC has decreased numerically. Among the important gaps that have emerged through this electoral process, is the absence of a space in the Center-Left that moves between AKEL and the parties of the Center, and which manages to house the wider progressive Left on the island. This element is reinforced by the huge abstention rates, but also the vote of a portion of voters in parties that failed to enter Parliament. The Movement of Ecologists-Citizens' Cooperation, despite the expectations created by the polls, for a number of reasons failed to play this pole, despite the fact that it wanted to draw votes from this pool, as well as the newly formed Generation Change of Anna Theologos, which was eventually left out of Parliament.

The realities…

Numbers and statistics reflect reality:

  • The first fact is that the three major parties, including the largest party in the Center – DIKO – are losing percentages and votes in real numbers.
  • Reality second, 51.28% turned their backs on the parties that finally entered Parliament, either by choosing to abstain (34.28% corresponding to 191,228 votes), or by choosing a party that did not enter Parliament (14.58%), or resorting to a white / invalid vote (1.86% / 0.56%). In essence, this means that the parties in Parliament represent less than half of the voters in this country.
  • The third fact is that the parties that in the past tried to form the so-called intermediate space, were reduced in Parliament, as parties such as the Solidarity Movement were left out, with the Citizens' Alliance merging with EDEK (without a substantial increase for Marinos Siouz's party). ).
  • The fourth fact is that the seats in the central area did not decrease as they remained at 20m as they were after the 2016 parliamentary elections, but there is a clear redistribution.
  • The fifth fact is that the parties of the Center now have a clear distance between them, which is difficult to bridge, as everyone is looking for the coveted role of regulator. Some to get closer to the government-DISY (see DIPA, EDEK) and others AKEL (see DIKO-Ecologists).

Concerns at DIKO

Nikolas Papadopoulos' party retained the 9 seats in Parliament – due to electoral law and conjunctures – but its percentage fell by more than 3%, while votes were lost in real numbers. In the first phase, from DIKO's point of view, they seem to attribute the reduction, among other things, to the former party executives who claimed and secured a seat with DIPA. However, this is not the only truth, as percentages were lost in provinces such as Paphos, which is considered the stronghold of the party, with the votes not being directed to DIPA. It is clear that the communication policy and strategy of complete leveling and frontal attack at the level of government maneuvers for an extended period of time did not yield the expected results. The reduction of percentages, as well as the attitude of the party leadership in relation to some candidates, towards others, brought complaints from some executives, which is particularly critical. One of the issues raised by some DIKO executives now has to do with whether or not the party should proceed openly in cooperation with AKEL in view of the municipal and presidential elections 2023 (especially after this election result). . There are many who claim that there is no other option than the partnership with AKEL, however the concern is reinforced by the reduction of percentages in the party of the Left. The question is whether there is the intention, the mood, but also the necessary ground at the level of executives, to substantially support such cooperation.

The party of Nikolas Papadopoulos has gone through various phases in recent years, with the result that the landscape at the grassroots level is not very clear:

  • period of intense devaluation and disapproval of the Christofias government (from 2011 onwards)
  • effort-with a leading role- to create the intermediate space with the known results (by hardening the stance on the Cyprus issue and not only)
  • support period for government bills and budgets (from 2013 onwards)
  • while in recent years there has been a strong devaluation of the DISY government and a shift in cooperation again with the party of the Left.

The party's collective bodies (not by chance) will meet after the vote for the election of the Speaker of Parliament, in order to analyze the election result. Success in the vote for Speaker of Parliament is an imperative for DIKO, as if he manages to elect his own person in this position (see its president) -with the partnership of the other parties- then Nikolas Papadopoulos will be able to to go to the collective bodies with a different air, as he will have retained the 9 seats and will have a first victory in Parliament. In case of failure to elect a Speaker of Parliament, the whining is a given that will intensify.

EDEK with open wounds

Marinos Sizopoulos's party has chosen a path that is particularly lonely in what has to do with the Cyprus issue, as at the moment it is the only (except ELAM) party that opposes the bizonality of the solution. At the same time, last year he showed an intention to cooperate with DISY, supporting the state budgets, a move that left shadows but also questions. There are many who hastened to say that Sizopoulos-Averoff agreed to give EDEK the presidency of the Parliament in return, something that for the time being does not seem possible as a possibility. EDEK managed to hold on to its percentages (with an increase of only 0.5% despite the merger with the Citizens' Alliance of George Lillikas), however it lost the fourth position in Parliament by ELAM, a fact that is important. EDEK is now called upon to decide whether to move closer to its opposition camp, led by AKEL and DIKO with the significant contribution of the Ecologists-Citizens' Cooperation Movement, whether to move to DISY and support bills and government policies, or walk in an intermediate space alone, which, however, does not seem for the time being to lead somewhere with prospects. In EDEK, after all, the wounds from the internal party problems that have arisen in recent years must be healed, as long as the fronts remain open, issues that deepen the party's electoral base return.

DIPA claims

In his first appearance in the parliamentary elections, Mario Karoyan's party managed to secure 6.1% and 4 seats in Parliament, with 3 of them going essentially to executives of the Democratic Forces Cooperation and one to remain in the presidency. of the party finally. It seems that there is a tendency in the central space that is expressed through a portion of voters who seek the most moderate approach to the issues of the political life of the country, while Mr. Karoyan's party will now have to prove through its action in Parliament that it has in essence a reason to exist by producing proposals and policy. This is, after all, the biggest bet for DIPA, if it wants to increase its percentages even more in view of the next electoral contests and to become an attractive pole of attraction for the people of the Center. However, with the current data, the Democratic Party will hardly be able to distance itself from government bills and proposals, while it remains to be seen how it will handle the next steps in the run-up to municipal and presidential elections. It will be difficult to see her move in the opposition camp, mainly due to the strong presence of DIKO in it.

The space of the Center-Left…

On the way to the elections, there was increased mobility from groups of citizens moving either in the sphere of the extra-parliamentary Left or in the field of the wider progressive Left. Some of them moved to AKEL in the elections, although the result does not seem to have been a large percentage (indicating the inability of the Left party to absorb these groups). DIKO for the time being does not seem capable or willing to absorb these groups, while EDEK, due to the Cyprus issue and not only, does not seem to be an option for the vast majority of these voters. Some moves were made by Ecologists to reach such audiences, with some choices and at the level of individuals. However, they did not have much effect in terms of increasing percentages due to the fact that the general approach was confusing, but mainly due to the fact that there was no clear picture of the Movement's course, other than green growth. This was the main reason why he failed to reach this portion of voters. However, he has the opportunity to clarify the landscape at the conference that will take place next autumn, if he wishes to move in this direction. But it takes courage and intention to cut. In the wider progressive space he wanted to place himself and the Movement for Generation Change of Anna Theologos, however again the lack of stability in terms of partnerships, the recent presence that did not have the opportunity to consolidate positions, but also the fact that the rotations were continuous until the elections, in all fields, even in the name, did not allow the establishment of a conception of the party. Therefore, in the next period, and in view of the next electoral contests, the parties moving in this area will have to take their own choices, to clarify their positions as there is suitable ground and voters in the area of the Center-Left, however, they are demanding in terms of where they will vote.

Reformation is coming… But what kind of reformation? Widely accepted or facelift?

“The three tribes of AKEL – The Workers' Party has reached a turning point” by Kritonas Kapsalis

Source: politis.com.cy

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