Pay­ing the price for po­lit­i­cal ar­ro­gance


Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

Sun­day’s par­lia­men­tary elec­tions sent out sev­eral strong mes­sages, most im­por­tant of which was the ab­sten­tion of just over a third of all vot­ers, pun­ish­ing the politi­cians for their ar­ro­gance and in­com­pe­tence to deal with burn­ing is­sues, such as the econ­omy, un­em­ploy­ment and so­cial well­be­ing. De­spite the cel­e­bra­tions that fol­lowed, with ev­ery po­lit­i­cal party claim­ing to have won some­thing, in fact they were all losers.

The rul­ing DISY lost two seats, but de­clared that it re­tained its po­si­tion as the lead­ing group in par­lia­ment. What good is that if it has been iso­lated com­pletely and has lit­tle chance of forg­ing an al­liance with any­one else? With an un­con­vinc­ing ticket, no won­der vot­ers were frus­trated, as they did not who to sup­port.

The com­mu­nist party AKEL lost more than three seats – it lost its cred­i­bil­ity within it’s own ranks, with a sig­nif­i­cant frac­tion that fears a DISY/AKELim­posed so­lu­tion of the Cyprus prob­lem, de­fect­ing to the likes of cen­trist DIKO.

The Demo­cratic Party was cel­e­brat­ing as it lost no seats. Or so it thinks. The fact that a for­mer de­fec­tor re­turned to its ranks should be counted in the pluses and mi­nuses, while a por­tion of this group’s sup­port­ers opted for the two newly-found par­ties, Sol­i­dar­ity and Cit­i­zen’s Al­liance.

The so­cial­ist party is nearly de­mol­ished, with no clear vi­sion or lead­er­ship in place, as the in-fight­ing had started far ahead of the elec­tions.

The only pos­i­tive out­come from the Greens, is that the for­mer En­vi­ron­ment Com­mis­sioner has won a seat, which sug­gests that there will be more sen­si­ble voices in par­lia­ment when it comes to our natural wealth and a sus­tain­able econ­omy.

And that brings us to the pri­or­i­ties that the halfnew par­lia­ment has not yet re­alised that it has to deal with ur­gently.

The econ­omy has been strug­gling to get started, but the ob­sta­cles laid by op­po­si­tion par­ties, in their pop­ulist ef­forts prior to the elec­tions, means that a lot of lost ground has to be cov­ered. Un­less some par­ties will con­tinue to feed on their ar­ro­gance and back-track on ev­ery com­mit­ment we made to the in­ter­na­tional lenders, es­pe­cially on pri­vati­sa­tion is­sues.

Any such set­back will sim­ply do more harm to our cred­i­bil­ity, just as we were build­ing up a pos­i­tive im­age and could threaten push­ing away what lit­tle chance we have of at­tract­ing for­eign in­vestors. Al­ready, the mar­kets are pun­ish­ing Cyprus with higher-than-nor­mal rates on our bonds, which means that we still have a long way to go be­fore reach­ing nor­malcy.

Let’s home the new House will show more sense than the out­go­ing bunch did and push through vi­tal pieces of leg­is­la­tion that has been stacked up in par­lia­ment for the past few months. Then again, with half the deputies re-elected, that doesn’t give much hope of progress any time soon.

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