THE CANDIDATE our establishment did not endorse, won last Sunday’s run-off election by a relatively comfortable margin of 15,000 votes and in 10 days will be crowned Nikos the Second, to continue the line of rulers with dyed hair, although the receding hairline and pointy sideburns will differentiate him from his predecessor and mentor.

The pointy sideburns, which make him look like a cast member of Star Trek, will also set him apart from all other heads of state. Kyproulla will have the only head of state in the world with Star Trek style sideburns, which could prevent him being taken seriously by fellow leaders. I know people should not be judged by appearances but in this era of superficiality they are.

In his countless meetings with people and the dialogue with voters, to hear their concerns and find out what they wanted, in the run-up the elections, Nikos II could have asked whether they approved of their future president having pointy sideburns. To be fair, he may have done so and been given the full approval of the people, who always know what is best.

Incidentally, the pointy sideburns worn by Mr Spock and Captain Kirk were aimed at giving them a futuristic hairstyle. Our new prez’ reason for opting for them remains one of the big mysteries of Kyproulla politics.

EFFORTS to put together the cabinet of the ‘government of broad social acceptance,’ which was promised, does not appear to be going very smoothly. Not only are there too many candidates for an extremely limited number of posts, but there are also too many parties being consulted about whom they would like to see appointed.

And to boost the selection difficulties he was facing, the prez-elect, even visited the leaders of parties that clearly stated they did not want to be part of government and had not demanded a ministry, Akel and Disy, to seek their views.

Appointing people who do not want to be in his government seems to be a challenge that Nikos II is determined to take on. Discussing who he will appoint on Wednesday, he said:

“There is a significant number of our compatriots who do not belong to parties, who, for years now, chose not the participate in election procedures. They will also participate in the Council of Ministers.” It would not be a government of broad social acceptance if it did not include someone from the ranks of people who do not want to have anything to do with politics.

AS IF IT were not bad enough having to satisfy, Diko, Edek, Depa, the Animal Party, the Hunters party, Sek union federation, the Technical Chamber, the hairdressers association and big assortment of hangers-on that surrounded him, he also put restrictions on himself.

Fifty per cent of the cabinet had to be women, all districts would have to be represented, although he left out the mountain regions, and ministers would have to be technocrats. The latter was changed after some private protests from his party backers into ‘technocrats with a political background.’

The good news is that the prez-elect, as early as last Wednesday, announced that regarding the ministerial appointments, “in my mind many names are locked.” By the time he finally announces his cabinet, many could be unlocked, because I hear Diko’s ethnarch is in possession of the master key.

AFTER the counting of the votes was completed last Sunday I was waiting to find out who would be the first politician to utter that stupid assertion that always follows the election – ‘today there are no winners or losers.’

The winner was the Depa chief Marios Garoyian, the master of the cliché, who is always a safe bet for the highest cliché rate per sentence award. The cliché was also repeatedly uttered by the new prez during the week, most recently on Friday evening in Paphos.

On election night, Garoyian was on a cliché roll. “Tomorrow dawns the first day of a new era…the people listened, compared and today decided the next page in the political story of our country.”

And he had to praise the voters. “Our people showed their maturity, their decisiveness, their will to move forward, refusing to return to the past… in these difficult times nobody can be spared, there are no winners or losers.”

TRY TELLING this to poor old Averof, who lost the presidential elections and is now at risk of also losing the leadership of his party. And to add insult to injury he is at risk of losing the leadership contest, like the presidential elections, again to someone who is better than him only in the looks department.

The Disy leadership is shaping into ‘the good, the bad, and the ugly’ contest, although there could be fourth challenger – former health minister and big mouth Giorgos Pamborides. For now, we have Averof as ‘the bad’, deputy leader Harris Georgiades as ‘the ugly’ (he is affectionately referred to by many as ‘big ears’) and party spokesman Demetris Demetriou as ‘the good.’

Like our new prez, Demetriou is the sort of guy that people would want as a son-in-law, because he comes across as a nice, presentable guy. What politics he has, are of the naïve school, his declared objective being to bring nationalist sentiment back to the party. We are all eager to see how he will do this.

IN THE END, Prez Niccolo’s Machiavellian scheming to politically destroy Averof worked extremely well. Not only did his chosen successor take the throne, but he has poor old Averof not just struggling for his political survival but humiliating himself in the process.

There could have been no greater humiliation than welcoming Nikos II to his offices, embracing him and offering to support the new government, even though a few days earlier he said Disy would be an opposition party. A week before, Averof was describing Nikos II as an apostate who had split the party and rousing the members of the political bureau against him. On Wednesday, he took the oath of allegiance to the victor, in front of the cameras.

And to compound the humiliation, he once again gave his support to the man that caused his downfall – Prez Niccolo – publicly stating that he did not share Kate Clerides’ view about the prez. Averof said he “could not accept any accusation against someone who served for 10 years as president of the republic.”

What lie did Niccolo sell Averof this time to get him to say that he disagreed with Kate’s accusations of corruption? Probably that he would help him win the leadership contest.

KATE’S social media post about Niccolo’s “personal involvement the corruption of his administration,” drew two responses on the day of the election from the man, even though he declared he was “not interested in engaging in a dialogue with those who try to harm the stability of the country.”

He engaged immediately after saying this and then also issued a written statement claiming her post was “an immoral attempt to tarnish my name.” He also insulted her, saying she was “nothing but the bearer of a great name.” He missed the irony that nobody could mouth such an insult to his own offspring.

I HEAR the UN was not very happy with the way our government handled its failed attempts to send a rescue team to Turkey after the big earthquake. After the pettiness displayed by the Turkish Cypriot leadership, because it had not been consulted about the rescue mission, it was our turn to show that we can be as petty. Although the UN arranged for the Greek Cypriot rescue team to fly to Greece and travel to Turkey from there with the EU rescue mission, our government wanted to fly it directly from Larnaca, and arranged for a Romanian plane to take it. We thought we could score a point by arranging a direct flight to Turkey but the Turks would not hear of it.

WE GOT a premature taste of the ‘participatory democracy’ that the prez-elect promised to introduce last week, when the ludicrously named Pancyprian Confederation of Federations of Parents’ Associations of Secondary Schools, declared the January exam results “null and void.”

It said the results were “tragic” because “the level of difficulty of the exams was beyond the bounds.” The exam questions were very difficult and this was because, according to a spokesman of the Pancyprian Confederation, the teachers at the education ministry, who set the exams, wanted to make the students suffer for the sake of it.

But the Confederation would “on no account allow our children to be victimised.” In Kyproulla, kids that get bad exam grades, the majority because they do not do any work, are victims. The confederation should demand that parents set the school exam questions from now on or, better still, that all kids sitting exams should get a pass mark, at the next session of the participatory democracy convention.

I WAS pleased to see that the election of Nikos II allowed our top daily Phil to return to the Makarios era. The paper has found a new hero that it can worship and offer its unwavering support to, as it had done to Makarios in the sixties and seventies.

Not only has the paper been full of articles heaping lavish praise on the new prez and glowing reports about his activities but its columnists have also been attacking anyone who dared voice the slightest criticism against its hero. With a new Makarios in place Phil can revert to the hagiographic journalism of its past.

It will certainly not be carrying any critical reports on the new prez’s Star Trek sideburns.

IF THERE is no shop next week, it would be because I accepted a ministerial post, Nikos II having decided that his critics must also participate in the government of broad social acceptance.