Entanglement, scandals, pandemic, mobilization, polarization and in the background Cyprus and presidential elections. The countdown to the parliamentary elections has begun with the political scene remaining fluid and the coronavirus crisis creating an unprecedentedly difficult situation for the political forces. The impact of this situation is reflected in the political scene. The frustration of society is intense and the mapping of the electoral battle prescribes a difficult field for all players. Political parties also have to contend with the data of a different pre-election period, adapted to health decrees and concentration restrictions as part of measures against the spread of the coronavirus. Everything creates several practical obstacles in the pre-election of the parties.
The most difficult part of the puzzle, however, concerns the reaction of the society, which in all this unprecedented state of affairs seems unpredictable and this makes the electoral battle ambiguous. The “polls” so far, as reflected in the various polls that saw the light of day, are summarized in the diptych, discomfort against the government but inability to capitalize on it by the opposition. Mainly from AKEL. At the same time, the discontent of society leads to the empowerment of seemingly small parties and greatly strengthens the pole of abstention.
Parliamentary records of Cypriots abroad: It is unfair not to be able to vote
Of the big three, DIKO seems the least lost and perhaps the winner, if we take into account the presence in this electoral contest of the Democratic Party of Marios Karoyan. Beyond that, EDEK remains questionable, Solidarity now has to fight with very different and difficult facts, the Citizens' Alliance is already part of EDEK's ballot, while ELAM and Ecologists are the “winners” of the small Parliament, according to opinion polls so far. As for the new formations, the Democratic Party seems to be coming with the greatest dynamics, claiming with the most demands entry into the new Parliament. Regarding the cooperation of the KEKK (Hunters' Party) with the combination of Independents led by Anna Theologou, there is no clear picture so far of its dynamics. It will certainly be a surprise and a great success if he manages to have a parliamentary presence.
On the one hand, the Government is in the grip of intense criticism and the daily fires of the opposition for issues of entanglement, with the spearhead the naturalizations and the millions from the issuance of passports. With the pounding of the parties touching the President of the Republic himself and his family environment, with tips for getting involved in the issue. The case of the Saudi private jet and the trips to the Seychelles have created a hazy landscape around the image of the Government. On the other hand, the second big chapter concerns pandemic management. Contrary to the beginning of the crisis, with the Government claiming the credit for the successful management, today the data are very different, due to the fatigue of the society but also due to decisions and measures taken by the Government (following the recommendations of the epidemiological of course, in most cases), such as the local lockdowns in Limassol and Paphos, the issue of schools and other differences. A fatigue on the part of society which has to do not only with the psychological aspect of history, but also with the economic one. Prolonged market closures and the economic impact of restrictive measures are beginning to be seen in much of society. Government support packages can no longer fill the gap, plus there is no such goodwill credit from people who see their businesses sinking and their pockets empty.
The equation for the negative image of the government also includes the manipulations of the Police regarding the incidents of March 15 in the center of Nicosia, with the Minister of Justice Emily Giolitis being in the spotlight once again. The case with the parody account and the decree for the investigation of the Police had certainly preceded it, which had already put the Minister of Justice in the crosshairs of criticism from a large part of the society, coming not only from the opposition.
Arriving at the parliamentary elections and the pre-election scenario, it is obvious that all this is a burden for the Democratic Alarm, with the party executives and candidates being called to give explanations and answers for the Government's manipulations. In some cases, they may take on a greater share of responsibility than their share. This is also reflected in the reactions of Pindar, who wanted to distance herself from some issues, such as the episodes, or the issue of Giolitis. On the issue of corruption, he repeatedly raised the gauntlet of criticism and returned fire mainly to AKEL, with references to the content of the video of Al Jazeera in which he was starring, the former MP of the Left party Christakis Tziovannis, who was essentially forced resigned after the video was released.
In Pindarou, of course, at the same time they must have remembered that the government work and the successes of the Government were the ones that were the main axis of his party's pre-election, both in the previous parliamentary elections and in the European elections. Also central slogan of this pre-election campaign for DISY is: “In difficult times the deeds count”. Which is certainly a reference to government decisions and benefits, such as new housing support programs for rural areas.
Under the circumstances so far, DISY seems to maintain the lead in the elections, although until May a lot can change, given the general situation that prevails mainly due to the pandemic and the discomfort of society.
The time of the Left and the weakness of AKEL
After eight years of DISY rule, with the inevitable deterioration of power, the haircut, the deep economic crisis, but also the crisis of institutions and values, the Left could be the alternative proposal. AKEL, however, seems to be unable to fulfill this role at the moment. In other times and under these circumstances, he would surely have won the elections, and in fact with a significant increase in his percentages. Today, however, things are very different and it is certainly something that should be a point of intense concern in Hezekiah Papaioannou, for the reasons that are responsible for this situation. On the high roofs of the leadership, as we are informed, they do their own reading. It is certainly clear that frustration translates into either an abstention from the electorate or a vote of protest against other smaller parties. AKEL is considered, especially after the period of its rule, part of the old party establishment, absorbing the vibrations from the perception that prevails in a wide range of society about horizontal entanglement. Something that should not escape the equation is the fact that a party MP was involved in the controversial video of Al Jazeera. Despite the fact that they immediately rushed to address the issue and with concise procedures to send the message that they do not raise a fly on their sword, however the whole story did not leave them unscathed. Beyond that, however, the fact that it does not succeed as a political force in passing on to society the idea that it can be an alternative proposal for governance, is an issue that should deeply concern the world of the Left, but above all the leadership of AKEL. , out of the molds of introversion.
DIKO and the former intermediary…
Given the data so far, it seems that DIKO does not have the loss that some might expect due to the presence of DIPA, but also the platform of its three former MPs. Maintaining its percentages or even increasing them, as stated by the party leadership, are its electoral goals. It will definitely be a success which he will definitely seek to capitalize on in view of any actions taken for collaborations against the background of the presidential elections. What is clearly recorded is the adoption of a tough opposition line with the spearhead of the issue of naturalizations and having as its central axis the requirement for control of naturalization cases by the Auditor General. In fact, repeating for a long time and load the slogan of the demand for delivery of the data to Odysseas Michailidis and culminating in this line with the refusal to vote on the state budgets.
At the same time and with the rumors about approaching AKEL for cooperation in view of the presidential elections raging, DIKO's positions on the Cyprus issue are now very careful, emphasizing mainly in their criticism against President Anastasiadis, his concern for the creation of two states due to manipulations or reports. It is typical that Nikolas Papadopoulos mentioned in the recent teleconference to the journalists that the President himself told him about the decentralized federation, emphasizing the commitment of DIKO to the DDO. The former intermediate pole, in which DIKO sought to have the leading role, is a thing of the past…