Closing speech by the General Secretary of the C.C. of AKEL
A. Kyprianou at the Extraordinary AKEL Congress
on the 2018 Presidential elections
State Fair Conference Hall
AKEL C.C. Press Office, 17th September 2017, Nicosia
We have once again given examples of inter-party democracy, which I do not think anyone can observe in any other political party.
We have had a thorough and exhaustive discussion.
We have said our views and taken decisions.
Now is the time to work in order to turn our decisions into hard work and our hard work into a victorious result.
We support the candidacy of a person with integrity, honesty, ethos and abilities who is widely recognized by society itself. I am sure that you, like me, with all the people you have spoken to all this time and with people beyond our Movement, have heard the same conversation “we have nothing wrong to say about Stavros Mala, he is untarnished, he has nothing against him”.
This is Stavros Malas. A young and untarnished man who can express and unite the majority of the people, fulfill the visions of the majority of Cypriot society and gain their confidence.
The stakes and dilemmas of the upcoming Presidential Elections are historic. Above all, with regards the solution to the Cyprus problem. Developments have reached a stalemate. We need to keep the hope for the solution alive; a solution based on the long-standing principles we have agreed with the international and Turkish Cypriot community. We are fighting for these principles.
It is of paramount importance to utilize the enormous asset of energy for the benefit of the Cypriot people and to ensure a fair redistribution of wealth; to stop the widening of social inequality into which the Anastasiades-DISY government has driven us to. It is important that our country proceeds towards progressive reforms and at long last to confront and combat the phenomena of interweaving interests and corruption that have literally overwhelmed us.
All this cannot be achieved by a President whom even his own followers no longer believe in when he speaks to them; by a politician of the past generation, and above all by an outdated mentality; by someone who is promising here, there and everywhere favours to secure votes. This cannot be done by a President who has sacrificed the Cyprus problem for the sake of his re-election and who has plunged the country into economic inequality.
All this cannot be done by another candidate-version of Mr. Anastasiades; by a genuine son of the establishment, and not only just of the financial and banking establishment. What can our country expect from Mr. Nicolas Papadopoulos? The solution to the Cyprus problem? Which solution? It will take DIKO or EDEK and “Solidarity” at least five years to agree on a common position on the Cyprus problem as to what kind of a solution they want. And then what? We will cross our hands and expect Turkey to recognize our Exclusive Economic Zone in order to inflict costs on Turkey. This is precisely Mr. Papadopoulos’s “new strategy”. And then, what is he going to do on the economy? He will implement all those bills and policies he voted for together with DISY President Mr. Averof Neophytou in the House of Representatives. Anything that Mr. Anastasiades left – if he left anything standing at all – will be leveled by Mr. Papadopoulos.
As for Mr. Yiorgos Lillikas, what is there left to say? Most of you in this Hall know him well. Most of you also took him from village to village during election campaigns, to be elected to parliament. Another ungrateful story. On the substance, however, Mr. Lillikas is as dangerous as Mr. Papadopoulos on the Cyprus problem. How can the people trust a man to be elected to the presidency who goes to sleep supporting one position in the evening and subsequently gets up supporting another position?
There is no alternative for those people, circles and forces who want Cyprus to have a future and a prospect other than Stavros Malas’ candidacy.
We will wage a difficult struggle; a battle against false pledges, interweaving interests, the various promises for cronyism and the buying off of consciousness. There are times when some candidates give the impression that they don’t want to win the elections, but buy them.
We must have no doubt at all that our political opponents will exhaust their anti-AKEL obsession in these elections. Already after the announcement of Stavros’ candidacy, columnists began writing “but AKEL supports him,” others that he is supported by people with “leftist roots”.
For them it is a cardinal sin for anyone to belong to the Left, for AKEL to exist and for AKEL to declare its support towards a candidate.
For them it is a cardinal sin that voices exist that speak about a common homeland, about one people; that there is a voice fighting and asserting for the whole of Cyprus, for both Greek Cypriots and for Turkish Cypriots., a voice fighting for the majority of the people, not the privileged few.
For them it is a cardinal sin that they can’t buy us, that they cannot blackmail us.
For all these reasons, we will fight even more united.
We will rally our forces even more.
We will be even more determined so as to take the big step forward.
To win the future; the future that unites us together with Stavros Mala!
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