AKEL’s negative results in the parliamentary elections was not due to the absence of leading figures from the party ticket or the situation of Omonia football club, general secretary Andros Kyprianou said on Saturday.
Kyprianou, who addressed the AKEL central committee, assumed responsibility as leader for the disappointing percentages the party received at the elections.
With 25.6 per cent, AKEL was seen as the biggest loser of the May 22 parliamentary elections, dropping 7.1 percentage points compared to the 2011 results, and losing three seats in the House. Kyprianou spoke of organisational weaknesses, as well as individual and collective mistakes.
“A 25.6 per cent result cannot in any way be considered as satisfactory,” Kyprianou said.
He rejected claims that the bad results were down to the absence of former leadership members from the party’s ticket, the exposure of high-profile party members in the media, and the situation in Omonia FC.
One of the biggest blows the party took, in recent years was the blow to the “moral advantage” the left has had over the years, he said.
“The whispers and innuendos while AKEL was still the government… left room for scandal-mongering, and for the rise of the Anastasiades-DISY government to power,” Kyprianou said.
He added that “existing and non-existing scandals” were utilised by some, including the media, to convince people that AKEL was a “corrupt clique”.
This, he said, has tarnished the party in the eyes of the people and “despite our sincere efforts to confront and stamp out such phenomena, we failed to convince people that corruption has not touched AKEL as well”.
He added that a big chunk of the people believe that AKEL does not have answers to the “huge financial and social problems” and that people traditionally affiliated with AKEL, did not vote the party because they did not see in it an answer to their problems.
He also said that the “Christofias Government” issue had negatively affected the consciousness of many and added that it was wrong that “we did not, all of us, defend with vigour, the positive achievements of the government”.
Another issue, Kyprianou said, which contributed to AKEL losing popular support was that the people identified the leftist party as siding with the ruling party DISY, following their agreement on raising the electoral threshold.
It gave out the impression, he said, that the two big parties were the same, which was not the case. He said that they were not successful enough during the election campaign to quash this impression.
As for the elections, he said that instead of all candidates being committed to the battle against “the war of substance and impressions”, “some candidates were engaged in a prevalence race, putting I over us”.
“There were others who served in senior (party) posts but fought the party vehemently during the elections,” Kyprianou said.
He added that what was needed for the party to recover, is for it to stop being passive and introvert and to stop “unproductive and unnecessary discussions”.
“It will take hard work for AKEL to again be back where it deserves to be,” Kyprianou said.