Presidential hopeful Stavros Malas accused incumbent Nicos Anastasiades on Saturday of being unreliable and of serving the interests of the privileged few.
The Akel-backed candidate was speaking at an event where he officially announced his candidacy for next year’s presidential election.
“Unfortunately, for five years we’ve had a president who was firm on one thing only: his unreliability,” Malas said.
The 50-year-old said the country needed a new, reliable president, and a different administration that will have a more diverse development model.
“Our country needs a progressive administration whose concern would be the prosperity of the many, that will support the weak, and would not only serve the interests of the privileged few.”
Malas, who served as health minister under the previous administration which saw the country seek an international bailout, said inequality has widened in the past few years.
“The country’s GDP in real numbers is lower and the real jobless number is higher in relation with 2012,” he said, adding that despite the measures put in place there was still some distance to go before reaching a healthy economic path.
Malas said as an EU and Eurozone state, Cyprus must adhere to a disciplined fiscal policy that will allow it to reduce its cost of borrowing further.
He said there was no room for old practices, but the state could review the redistribution of resources as part of a disciplined fiscal framework.
He did strike a note of caution, however, emphasizing that without the island’s reunification, the necessary structures for sustainable growth could not be created.
“Those who believe what we are experiencing today, growth under conditions of occupation, is the answer, are effectively repeating Turkey’s narrative that from the day it invaded Cyprus there is calm and prosperity,” Malas said.
The aim should be the reunification of Cyprus under a federal roof, he said, despite the difficulties, including Turkey’s intransigence.
“It is, however, globally unique for the international community to settle with European territory being under occupation and place the responsibility of lifting this illegality primarily on the two communities.”
“Under these conditions, without wishful thinking and delusions, we must all consider our share of the big responsibility and manage the Cyprus problem with prudence and wisdom.”