Cyprus Mail
CM Regular ColumnistOpinion

The real message from the elections

We remain a politically immature people who get the politicians that we deserve

By Loucas Charalambous

THE ATTEMPT of all those who, since Monday, have been trying to analyse the results of the parliamentary elections and identify the so-called messages is very touching indeed. Political pundits, election analysts and journalists have undertaken the task of explaining to us the supposedly unexpected result, each one ensuring presenting it in a way that the message fits his or her political views and desires.

Following their evaluations, the column has its own explanation. If there really is one message it is that we remain incurable – our president, our politicians, our parties and our journalists. Always the same, sloppy, unprepared, sloganeering, know-it-all fools. The message from the elections, but also from the ‘analyses’ of the voting is that we remain a politically immature people with the politicians that we deserve.

The vanguard of rejectionism and its journalistic mouthpieces, led by Phileleftheros, as well as other self-styled political analysts, daily parading through the television studios wasted no time in interpreting the result as a defeat of the bi-zonal, bicommunal federation (BBF) settlement and of the two big parties that supported it. The anti-federation parties, one wrote, all together received 41.85 per cent (he included DIKO) while the pro-federation parties (AKEL and DISY) only 54.43 per cent. Neither he nor the other super-patriots that arrived at the same conclusion considered it necessary to explain why the only party that has officially renounced the federal settlement (EDEK) saw its share of the vote reduced by a third.

Nor did they find it strange that DISY, which saw its share of the vote fall by as much as six per cent in most districts, in Kyrenia, the only district that would be under Turkish Cypriot administration in a federation, saw its share of the vote record a small increase.  And they had nothing to say about the fact that DISY’s Marios Mavrides, one of the biggest supporters of BBF, received the highest number of preference votes in the Kyrenia district – 2,744. In contrast the top Kyrenia candidate of EDEK, led by the high priest of anti-federation demagoguery Marinos Sizopoulos, received a paltry 276 preference votes, while the candidate of the Ethnarch of rejectionism Giorgos Lillikas, received only 670. The top candidate of the party of Eleni Theocharous, who declares she would liberate Kyrenia with her assertive policy, received 190 votes.

I have another argument against those celebrating the electoral losses of DISY which they attribute, to the party’s commitment to BBF. But DISY has been committed to BBF for 40 years now. During all those years did its supporters not know what kind of settlement DISY supported? Had they just found out about it and decided to leave the party?

I heard one of the election analysts, that is flown in from Athens by some television stations whenever there are elections, asserting that the losses of DISY and AKEL were unprecedented, that the winners were the small parties and that the “political geography of Cyprus would never be the same again.” What nonsense. The supposed increase of the share of the rejectionist parties was the inevitable result of the high abstention rate among the supporters of the two big parties and the temporary switch of allegiances of a few of them. What has this got to do with BBF?

Voters were fed up of the erratic behaviour of the respective leaderships of the big parties and illustrated their disappointment and revulsion by not voting for them. It is not the first time something like this happened to the big parties. DISY, in particular, suffered the exact same loss in the parliamentary elections of 2006 compared to 2001 (3.7 per cent down) and restored its share in 2011. I remember the Athens election analysts talking about “the change in the political setting” in 2006 as well.

I am not claiming that the majority of Greek Cypriots want a settlement of the Cyprus problem. I am probably the only person who has repeatedly written that there was no way we would accept a settlement agreement through the holding of a referendum. The BBF is not the problem, nor do I accept that there are more than 100 Cypriots that know what a federation is, bi-zonal or not. People, demagogue politicians and super-patriotic journalists do not want any solution. Partition suits and serves the interests created after 1974 and these are so many and so powerful that defeating them is impossible.

But they do not have the courage to say that partition is good for them and end up playing with words, zero-cost rhetoric and idiotic slogans aimed at persuading us that their problem is BBF. We remain incurable and this is the only true meaning of last Sunday’s elections.

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