Ruling Disy’s Supreme Council on Saturday formally endorsed President Nicos Anastasiades’ bid for re-election in the presidential election to be held in January 2018.
In a celebratory atmosphere, the president welcomed the support of the party he led for 16 years before winning the 2013 presidential election.
“I am here to express my gratitude for your trust, and thank you on behalf of the people of Cyprus for your support,” Anastasiades told the crowd.
He added that he could not have had the successful presidency he did without the help of everyone in the party.
“I am happy and proud that I entrusted the government to young people,” the president said.
“I am happy that God has allowed me to be aware of the things I don’t know. Believing that one knows everything is a very dangerous trait.”
Referring to his major achievements at the helm of the government, Anastasiades highlighted the economic recovery and stressed credibility and stability as key factors.
“In order to overcome the problems – at a time when, until 2013, our budgets were being burdened every year with €1 billion that we didn’t have, getting to the point of having balanced budgets and surpluses by 2014 – I don’t think it was an easy task or one achieved by a magic wand,” he said.
“It was through determination, boldness, meticulousness – and we have achieved it.”
On the Cyprus problem, Anastasiades reaffirmed his readiness to resume the dialogue but only following solid preparation.
“We can no longer go by anyone’s intuition or fantasies,” he said.
“There must be good, diligent work so that finally, once we are at a new summit, it can pay off what we expect. I will not agree to present a settlement plan that I feel does not meet the expectations of the Greek Cypriot side, without ignoring the sensitivities of the other side.”
In his address to the body, Disy leader Averof Neophytou argued that Anastasiades took over a country in ruins and managed to introduce stability, gradually ushering in a strong recovery.
“This is not the time for experiments,” he told the crowd.
“It is once more the time of responsibility toward Cyprus. We must continue – and we will.”
Acknowledging shortcomings in the past five years, Neophytou said “there were certainly mistakes and omissions, and perhaps expectations that were not met”.
“But one thing is certain,” he added.
“Our mistakes or our omissions did not cost the country and did not threaten to steer the Cyprus ship onto the rocks.”
Anastasiades, he noted, managed to bring the issue of security at the heart of the Cyprus problem, and to make the abolition of guarantees and the withdrawal of occupying forces a prerequisite to a solution.
“The negotiations failed due to Turkey’s refusal, but this round left the gains of the ‘Guterres framework’ and the clear view of the United Nations and the European Union that the 1960 security arrangement must be abolished, and Cyprus made a normal state,” he said.
“We should not, and will not, abandon an effort that brought the Cyprus problem talks to their most advanced stage. We will continue with Nicos Anastasiades with a vision to see our country reunified, without foreign occupying troops and foreign guarantors.”