Reuniting Cyprus and economic recovery were the main messages presidential hopefuls sent here on Friday to the electorate, as they submitted their candidacies for January’s elections. A total of nine candidacies were submitted. Each candidate was proposed by one person and supported by another 100.
The election of the new President of the Republic for the next term in office, covering the period from 2018 to 2023, will take place on January 28, 2018. A run- off election is set to be held on February 4, 2018, if necessary.
Incumbent President Nicos Anastasiades, who seeks re-election, said, that the day after the elections must find everyone united for the sake of the country. In a statement after submitting his candidacy, Anastasiades expressed certainty that a mild political climate will prevail until election day. His candidacy was proposed by PACE President and ruling Democratic Rally (DISY) Vice President Stella Kyriakides.
Anastasiades thanked everyone who expressed support to his candidacy, noting that they show their confidence “in the efforts we are making to achieve the best possible for our country.”
“What we have achieved so far did not happen by chance. It was the result of collective action by the government, but above all it was the outcome of the cooperation and the support of the employers` organizations and the trade unions, as well as people`s sacrifices,” he pointed out.
Anastasiades outlined his vision for a free Cyprus that will be truly independent, stressing that if people vote for him and he is re-elected he will do his utmost to promote reforms and the necessary cooperation that will create the prospects for a free country and for the prosperity of all the people.
Stavros Malas, who is supported by left-wing AKEL party said, in his statement, that if he is elected he will govern as President of all Cypriots and invited the people to trust in him. His candidacy was proposed by former President of the Republic Yiorgos Vassiliou.
Malas said that the next five years will be a period of major political decisions on the Cyprus problem, the economy and the healing of wounds caused by the economic crisis, energy planning and combating corruption.
He stressed that his main concern is a rapid solution to the Cyprus problem on the basis of an agreed framework and the unanimous decisions of the National Council, noting that if there is a de facto division of the country “we will not be able to speak about a viable and functional settlement.”
Furthermore he said that we will not be able to speak about a sustainable development of the economy, because the economy and its development are closely linked with the settlement of the Cyprus problem.
Democratic Party President Nicholas Papadopoulos said in his statement after the submission of his candidacy that “our proposals put forward something new”, adding that citizens will bring about change. Papadopoulos` candidacy was proposed by the founder of the Social Democrats Movement EDEK Vassos Lyssarides.
Papadopoulos said that dozens of young people and citizens from various social classes, various organizations and the political parties of the Ecologists, the Solidarity Movement, EDEK, and the Democratic Party (DIKO) support his candidacy.
He said all these constitute a vast social majority which wants to terminate policies that have failed, to bring dignity back to the people, address injustices, reinforce the social state, develop the economy and combat corruption. He wished that 2018 will bring change, hope and freedom to Cyprus.
Citizens` Alliance Movement President Yiorgos Lillikas said that his candidacy expresses an alternative policy, a new course for the Cyprus problem, the economy and social issues. His candidature was proposed by Marios Stavrou.
He said that as in 2013 he is supported by the citizens and called on the people who believe in an assertive policy to curb Turkish intransigence and pave the way for a just settlement to support him.
Lillikas noted that “our social obligation is to hand over a better Cyprus to our children, a state that will serve and respect its citizens, that will be effective and will function with transparency, giving equal opportunities to its citizens on the basis of meritocracy.”
Furthermore, he said that “our obligation is to hand over to our children a modern economy, an effective and competitive economy, that will bring growth, create working positions with decent wages and bring welfare.”
The leader of far-right party ELAM Christos Christou said the only clear voice is that of his party. “We appeal to the people with the message that if they want change and are done with the old, corrupted and rotten, then the only clear voice is that of ELAM”.
Another presidential hopeful Haris Aristidou said the aim of his bid is his opposition to “the bigoted, bizonal, bicommunal federation, with a wrong or right content”. He also said he supports the “right of self determination” and expressed his opposition to drug lords and the police, which he described as “corrupt”.
Christakis Kapiliotis said his candidacy appeals to all the people of Cyprus, to Hellenism and even Turkish Cypriots. He said he is fed up of the continuing Turkish intransigence.
Andreas Efstratiou said his candidacy is a bid to represent those on the margins of society. Efstratiou said the forthcoming elections are critical and referred to poverty and unemployment as well as the injustice that prevails in society. This is the tenth time he is running for election.
Michalis Mina, President of the Justice Party, strongly criticised the media, claiming journalists are involved in illegal activities and bribery. He also criticised political parties for spending more than a million euro in the pre-election campaign and bribing voters, adding that the people will cast their vote on 28th January.