LEADER of the Citizens’ Alliance Yiorgos Lillikas officially announced his candidacy for the presidential elections on Sunday and gave a brief overview of his programme.
Lillikas, who on Wednesday received the green light from his party’s senate to stand as candidate in the 2018 presidential elections, called on his supporters to help him complete the journey he had set on five years ago when he ran again for the presidency. In 2013, Lillikas failed to make the second round, coming third with around 25per cent of the vote.
Addressing party members, Lillikas said that the country continued to face the same political problems but now also had to deal with new, economic and social problems.
President Anastasiades’ policieswere“bankrupt” he said and although Turkey bore responsibility for the non-solution of the Cyprus problem, so did Anastasiades, whose policies encouraged Turkey’s intransigence.
The new president, Lillikas said, would be called to create those conditions “to bend Turkish intransigence, to pave the way for a truly just solution that will overturn the status quo of the occupation, create security for all legal citizens of the Republic of Cyprus so that Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots can live together in mixed villages and cities and work together, enjoying all human rights and democratic freedoms in a modern European state”.
The new president would also have to find solutions to lead the country out of the economic crisis and ensure a better quality of life for citizens, in a prosperous society of equal opportunities. The country, he said, needed a new model of economic growth that would utilise all productive sectors and its rich human resources “by investing in research and innovation to have sustainable growth that will create new jobs, prospects and hope for our youth”.
“Cyprus wants a president for growth and not a leader of the (economic) crisis,” Lillikas said.
Last week Lillikas said that he was certain he would make it the second round of the elections, even though he would only have the support of his own party, that took six per cent of the vote in last year’s parliamentary elections. The rest of the rejectionist parties would be backing the candidacy of Diko leader Nicholas Papadopoulos.
Lillikas also faced criticism from a section of his own party for deciding to stand instead of joining the Papadopoulos electoral alliance.
On Sunday Akel leader Andros Kyprianou sent a message that his party would not back Lillikas. The latter had entertained hopes Akel might have supported his candidacy. This was not an option, said Kyprianou, who added: “Another candidacy is needed which will be consistent in the handling of the Cyprus problem.”