Cyprus Mail

Tales from the Coffeeshop: Our crackpot candidates… no not the pot campaigner

Independent Giorgos Christoforou who is standing for the legalisation of marijuana has managed to have marijuana leaves (his logo) printed on Republic’s ballot paper

IT IS THAT time again, when I have to wrestle with the moral dilemma of whether to respect a stupid law and write nothing non-factual about today’s election, because it could be construed as campaigning for a party on a day that campaigning is prohibited, or ignore it and leave myself open to hurtful accusations of not being a law-abiding citizen.

Stupid elections laws have traditionally been ignored. For instance, the ban on the sale of booze in the late ‘70s and ‘80s before an election that meant all bars and restaurants were closed on the Saturday night was completely ignored as people had parties at their homes. Not even the thuggish cops of the Spy Kyp years could stop you drinking in your home. Ditto mandatory voting, which so many people ignored the AG’s office gave up fining them.

Given the choice of parties and candidates we are asked to vote for, we should have had an election law making drinking mandatory before you cast your vote. Shot glasses with zivania should have been lined up on the table outside the election station and every voter should have been obliged to down at least one (maximum three per person) before voting. This would make voting fun, reduce the abstention rate and limit the electoral strength of AKEL as mildly inebriated comrades would feel brave enough not to vote for the party.

AFTER wrestling with my dilemma for a couple of minutes I decided I will ignore the law about campaigning as I have always done, as my scribbling could not possibly influence the Coffeeshop’s highly intelligent and politically sophisticated readers. If it could I would be asking them for donations to my pension fund rather than to vote for Ethnarch Junior.

There are more crackpots than ever before contesting this election and I am not referring to the independent Giorgos Christoforou who is standing for the legalisation of marijuana and has managed to have marijuana leaves (his logo) printed on Republic’s ballot paper. Christoforou, a middle-aged, clean-cut gentleman is the last person you would think was a pot smoker if you saw him walking down the street.

The guy looks like the sort of person that would be playing with worry beads rather than rolling joints in the privacy of his home. The big disappointment was that his campaign was non-existent. He said and did nothing when he could have asked Prez Nik why he broke his election pledge to legalise cannabis, a question no hack ever dares ask him.

I suspect he was too stoned to bother with an election campaign. As the Afroman once sang, “I was going to campaign for election, but then I got high,” or as Dr Hook so eloquently put it, “I got stoned and I missed it.”

I SUSPECTED that ‘clean hands’ Lillikas, leader of the Alliance of Lillikas was going after the dope-smokers’ vote after reading one of the reasons cited in his election ad for voting for his party. The ad said that “we can bring back the smile to the faces of people”.

Would the Alliance be distributing marijuana or quarter bottles of zivania to people, if Yiorkos won a seat, because I cannot think how else the miserable Paphite could bring back the smile to the faces of people? The truth is that a good showing for ‘clean hands’ Lillikas today would wipe the smile off a lot of faces and no amount of intoxicants would return it.

This is not the only high sounding but totally meaningless promise the Alliance made in its advert. We would also “rediscover our lost dignity.” This sounds like some preacher wanting to help fallen women, leave their life of sin. Personally, I have not lost my dignity, despite what Yiorkos thinks, but if I had he would be the last man on earth I would ask to help me find it.

Apart from putting a smile on our faces and giving us back our dignity, he will also “give back hope to our young.” Hope for what? Getting laid more often, winning lotto, becoming public parasites, liberating Kyrenia or going to paradise? Fed up of acting like politician, Yiorkos is re-inventing himself as a modern-day Messiah.

ALL POLITICIANS come up with bullshit during elections, but nothing beats the Paphos Messiah’s promise to “bring back morality to politics.” He was reminded of his own political morality by EDEK. In the last presidential elections, in which Yiorkos was standing, he had secured the backing of the socialists by promising them that he would not set up a party after the elections.

Having fooled the socialists he then went back to them, as a party leader, for consultations about uniting the parties of the centre. He publicly boasted that he would have no claims to the leadership because his objective was a strong party of the centre. What he failed to mention, according to EDEK was that he had set one condition for the unification of the centre – he would be its candidate in the next presidential elections.

THE ALLIANCE is not the only party that exists to serve the presidential ambitions of its leader. The Solidarity Movement, aka Solidarnosc, does not even pretend to be anything other than a vehicle for its great leader Eleni Theocharous.

All its adverts and billboards are dominated by the picture of the multiple-pension MEP who is going to modernise Kyproulla politics by bringing back the cult of ‘the great and infallible leader’ in anticipation of the presidential elections of 2018, in which Dr Eleni has said she would be standing.

Dr Eleni will not automatically get a parliamentary seat if her one-woman movement passes the election threshold, because she is not listed as leader. The seat will probably go to her side-kick and former Eurocock, Demetris Syllouris, and she will remain an MEP. This is not because the European Parliament pays much better but because no other Cypriot MEP could defend the interests of Kyproulla in Strasbourg as effectively as the Theocharous Movement.

AS PART of her campaigning Dr Theocharous also met up with the cry-baby bondholders who have been buttered up by most of the parties. DIKO for instance, has promised to take a part of the budget surplus every year and pay it to the bondholders as compensation for their bad investment decision.

Theocharous came up with an even better idea. She proposed that the Bank of Cyprus should hand over its properties in the occupied area to the bondholders as compensation. It was a brilliant idea because, faced with the non-stop moaning and protests by the bondholders, the Turkish troops might decide to pack up and go home. Alternatively, they could all be thrown into a Turkish jail and we would not have to hear their moaning ever again.

It is a win-win situation for which Dr Eleni should be vigorously applauded.

EDEK under the new stewardship of Dr Marinos Sizopoulos appears to be going through an identity crisis. When it is not engaging in its super-patriotic posturing about the Cyprob, it does not seem to have much idea what it stands for.

It has therefore come up with childish proposals like lowering VAT for essential good, reducing fuel tax, compensating bondholders and protecting guarantors of loans. Nothing illustrated its identity crisis and confusion better than the promotional video it put together which is goes through Kyproulla’s history and is made up of a montage of hundreds of pictures and film clips squeezed into 68 seconds.

The pictures include among others, Yasser Arafat, Nelson Mandela, Che Guevara, Melina Merkouri, Grigoris Afxentiou, Malcolm X, Andreas Papandreou, Abdullah Ocalan and countless other left-wingers that had nothing to do with EDEK. Needless to say, that the greatest and bravest leader of them all – Dr Faustus Lyssarides – is shown more times than anyone else in the video, even though he is not standing for election.

The video was withdrawn by EDEK when it was informed that the standing in front of his dead family, in one of the pictures of the Turkish invasion featured, was in fact a Turkish Cypriot. Politis has posted a copy of the withdrawn video –

CONFUSION is not EDEK’s only problem. It also has to deal with Mr and Mrs Mavronicolas who are treating the party like a family business. In the previous parliament, Mrs Mavronicolas was deputy, but in these elections Mr Mavronicolas is standing. The latter was elected MEP in 2014 but did not like the travelling so he stepped down and now hopes to take the Nicosia seat that had been kept warm, in his absence by his wife. The whole leadership of the party may have changed last year but the Mavronicolas family’s parliamentary seat was not touched.

COMRADE Tof is most definitely out of favour at AKEL. During its campaigning the party did not once refer to the ‘Christofias government’, always talking about the unfair criticism and media attacks suffered by ‘AKEL government’.

The comrades have realised that the mere mention of the village idiot’s name automatically leads to loss of votes so they have decided to write him out of the party’s history, as any self-respecting Stalinist party would have done. It would almost make you feel sympathy for him, but not quite.

Another communist technique was used in the campaign. It found some 13 men including former ministers, deputies and academics that have enjoyed AKEL patronage over the years to issue a statement of support for the party that “represents the popular movement.” Half of these guys were ministers in the AKEL (not Christofias) government (two were AKEL-backed presidential candidates) so are not blessed with any kind of objectivity. They will say what the party tells them.

They were concerned about “the attempt being made for the imposition of neo-liberalism with the simultaneous attribution of guilt to the progressive principles of the broader Left in a way that many times borders systematic persecution.”

One of the signatories of the declaration was Yiorkos Iacovou, a Tof poodle, who had served under most presidents and would probably become the biggest champion of neo-liberalism if he was given a ministerial post by prez Nik.

BEING an unashamedly neo-liberal establishment that supports not just the systematic persecution of the Left but its outlawing, we cannot say anything too critical about DISY because it is the only party in the elections which is closer to our right-wing ideology. I will ask what the meaning of the orange trees featured in all its advertising was. Does neo-liberalism now advocate that we should all eat oranges, or was the party appealing to APOEL supporters who always wear orange?

FINALLY, a word about DIKO which has been advising voters, “This Sunday, neither Left nor Right.” The message seems a bit too ambiguous and could confuse the low intelligence voters the party was appealing to. They might think they should vote for the Theocharous Movement or the Lillikas Alliance, which are neither Left nor Right but opportunists of the Centre just like DIKO.

I APOLOGISE that I have to finish here, but if readers feel short-changed they can send their complaints to the editor who has imposed a neo-liberal deadline on me because she has to go to a wedding.

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