Paying the price for political arrogance
E DII TO RII A L
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.