WITH less than 365 days to go until the presidential elections, it is not just Prez Nik, posing as a nationalist super-hero, who has begun campaigning. Some have entered the battlefield though at different levels of engagement, while others are only carrying out reconnaissance missions in the hope they would find some party willing to back them.
So far there are two dead certs apart from Nik and another three hoping they will be anointed Akel candidate, as the party of the proletariat is keeping its options open for now. And then there is the warrior queen Dr Eleni, who has the burning desire to stand but is having a bit of difficulty selling herself to any party.
The two dead certs are the Alpha male rejectionists Junior and Yiorkos Lillikas, although only the Paphite opportunist has made his intentions clear for far. Junior has avoided saying he will stand but from what I hear his mother has already made the decision and has hired a posse of advisors to teach him to behave like a grown-up.
Lillikas announced on a radio show on Wednesday that his candidacy would be ratified by the supreme senate of the Lillikas Alliance party next Sunday. He said the matter had already been discussed at his party’s political senate which gave his candidacy the go-ahead. How likely was it that the senate of the Alliance, which exists solely to promote Lillikas’ presidential ambitions, would not have backed his candidacy?
JUNIOR, meanwhile, has started with a low-key campaign that has involved travelling abroad in order to appear presidential. He was invited to give a lecture at the Bar-Ilan University in Israel on the “Strategic environment of Cyprus”, but strangely never made public his speech to show us what a deep thinker the person who wrote if for him was.
Then he went for contacts in Brussels, and this week he was in Athens to attend the Delphi International Economic Forum at which according to a Diko announcement he was “give his views about the geo-political developments of the broader region at a critical period for Europe, Greece and Cyprus”. Again, his speech has not been made available.
While at the forum he had “a series of meetings with international political, business and academic personalities attending the conference”, but Diko did not consider it necessary to name any of the personalities Junior met. Surely, it would help his drive to appear mature and presidential to name these international personalities.
IN GREECE he also met the holder of the key of Morphou, President Pavlopoulos, ultra-nationalist defence minister Panos Kamenos and a couple of retired prime ministers.
During his meetings “he expressed the gratitude of Cypriot Hellenism for the principled position Greece took at the negotiations in Geneva,” (and ensured the failure of the conference). He again conveyed the gratitude “of all Cypriots” when he met the chubby foreign minister Nikos Kotzias extolling his “robust stance on principles and constructive contribution during the Geneva conference”.
His contribution could not have been more constructive, given that he pissed off the UN secretary-general, who said he did not want to see him again, and brought the conference to a premature end. Junior should also realise that he only represents 15 per cent of voters and cannot express gratitude on behalf of Cypriot Hellenism. He is not the president yet.
If we needed further proof that Kotzias’ agenda was to scupper the Cyprus peace process in Geneva, it was provided by Junior’s grovelling gratitude on Friday.
WITH Junior having marked his territory as the candidate of the inbetweeners, Lillikas is being forced to grovel to his former Akel comrades for backing. He hopes to force the comrades into supporting him by announcing his candidacy early and proving he has a chance of winning.
Unsure of Akel’s decision he has been forced to oscillate on the Cyprob between his familiar hard-line positions and a more moderate stance that is necessary to win over the comrades. If Akel does not go for him, he will have to compete with Junior for the inbetweener vote and so cannot abandon his hardline rhetoric.
However he decided that his party would boycott the second anti-settlement seminar being held in Paphos on Friday by the hard-line parties, pissing off members of his party, who are under the illusion that the Alliance is not the personal vehicle for Lillikas’s noble ambitions.
Incidentally, I hear that Mother Russia’s ambassador Stanislav Osadchiy will most definitely not be attending the seminar, after the trouble he got into for attending the first one in Nicosia.
THE OTHER candidate vying for commie backing is former foreign minister Erato Kozakou- Markoulli, who would make history as the first ever female presidential candidate. The Narcissistic Paphite MEP Takis Hadjigeorgiou is also hopeful, but he is a long-shot.
Her attempt to endear herself to the comrades, by taking a tough stance on the Enosis referendum amendment, describing it as a “mini-coup against the negotiations”, drew howls of rage from the sanctimonious hardliners, who labelled the comment as “provocative, unacceptable and disrespectful” among other things.
They also urged the Prez to come clean and say whether he agreed with the “extremely provocative” view of the member of his negotiating team. To appease the lynch mob and in the hope of winning a few more votes, Nik will announce that he will spank her bottom when he sees her again.
MEANWHILE the bill prepared by Disy, which would have annulled the Enosis referendum amendment, by stipulating that only the education ministry could decide special days and anniversaries marked at public schools, has been shelved.
If approved Mustafa would have had his way and would have no reason to stay away from the talks. But from what we hear the bill was shelved on order from Prez Nik who, contrary to his public pronouncements, is not too keen on a resumption of the talks because it would be a distraction to his campaigning.
And he cannot be seen giving in to Mustafa’s blackmail now that he is selling himself as a patriotic super-hero. In an interview with Phil last Sunday he referred to Turkish Cypriots as a minority and made out he was doing them a favour giving them political equality.
I FELT sorry for government spokesman Nicos Christodoulides, a devout Christian and regular churchgoer, who is being forced to lie publicly by his boss. Speaking on a radio show on Tuesday, Christodoulides denied that Nik had began his re-election campaign and said the election was the last thing on the president’s mind.
He even put a patriotic spin on his denial in keeping with the new nationalist persona of his boss, pointing out that claims Nik was campaigning could be attributed to the Turkish side. “Unfortunately, this is also said by some on our side,” he admitted, his religious upbringing preventing him from naming the traitors who were adopting the Turkish propaganda.
I suspect Christodoulides has resorted to the patriotic bullying of the Tassos years in the hope the priest will forgive his lying when he goes to confession. From what I hear it is a smaller sin when you lie on instructions from your boss.
CALL ME a traitor who repeats Turkish propaganda, but after the Prez’s despicable surrender to the nurses on Friday, can there be the slightest hint of doubt that Nik is working on his re-election?
Can anyone believe that the election is the last thing on the president’s mind, after he agreed to increase nurses’ entry-level wage by 47 per cent to €25,000 and the end-of-career wage by 60 per cent to €56,000? And these are nurses who work office hours like the rest of the civil service and any work after 2.30pm is paid overtime rates. With the bigger salaries the overtime rate would also increase as would the pensions.
The justification for this is that nurses now have a university degree and therefore have to be paid significantly more doing the same work. In fact, being graduates they might refuse to do the dirty work nurses have to do and hospitals would have to hire helpers for this.
In the end, state healthcare will be the same as state education which boasts the second best paid teachers in the EU and among the crappiest education standards. We will now have the best-paid nurses in the EU and the worst healthcare because Gesy will never happen.
YOU HAD to feel sorry for health minister Giorgos Pamborides, who suffered the indignity of announcing the criminal deal done by the Prez, for the benefit of his re-election campaign. Pamborides had been arguing for the last year that the pay demands of the nurses could not be satisfied if there was to be a health scheme, but he was completely ignored by Nik acting like Tof the Second.
Finance minister Haris Georgiades, who a year ago had declared he would not even discuss the nurses’ unreasonable demand, stayed silent, aware Nik had opened the floodgates and many other graduates in the public service could soon be heading to the presidential palace to demand pay rises. By the time the election arrives we might have to apply to the EU for financial assistance again.
THE MOST embarrassing of the lot was Disy. Last year, just before the parliamentary elections, it ignored the political cost and publicly dismissed the nurses’ demand as selfish and unreasonable. It was the only party to so.
On Friday its spokesman Prodromos Prodromou issued an announcement praising the agreement as “a very positive step for the creation of better conditions and for the functioning of public health”. The agreement was reached “now that the state has the means”, said Prodromou, who can lie with an easy conscience, as he is not a churchgoer like Christodoulides.
Akel criticised Nik, not for reaching a deal, but for taking unacceptably long to do so. When it comes to wasting the taxpayer’s money, for the commies, there is no time to waste.
FORMER deputy AG Rikkos Eorotkritou might have lost his freedom on Wednesday when the court sentenced him to three-and-a-half years in prison for being a corrupt official abusing his power, but he did not lose his fighting spirit or his Olympian arrogance.
The announcement he issued after the sentence was announced presented himself as the victim of a big conspiracy by the legal establishment of Nicosia. It was the Kyproulla version of the Dreyfus case in France, without the anti-Semitism which was replaced by anti-Limassolism.
His downfall had been orchestrated by the “well-known para-institutional network of the capital” which “has more than one component: politicians with low, vindictive motives, several lawyers, a specific bank with its legal counsel, and, unfortunately, a few bought journalists who are fed by the network to cover up its existence.”
This was great stuff but even more impressive were the delusions Tricky Ricky displayed. His sentence, he said “aimed to present the incorruptible as corrupt and the corrupt as incorruptible.” He might be innocent, wrongly imprisoned by sinister forces, but incorruptible? He is both a politician and a lawyer. And that precludes any claim to incorruptibility.
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