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Dark Room: Fooling the electorate

The announcement
Now that the process for finding a Cyprus settlement is dead and buried (at least for a long while) RoC President Nicos Anastasiades feels that the time has come to start his quest for re-election. To be precise, Anastasiades has already started campaigning.

During August, he visited as many villages as possible and attended almost all events held in the wider Troodos area.

He will carry on until mid-September, then he will travel to New York for the United Nations General Assembly (mainly for the photo opportunities).

And finally with the air of a statesman (even through he didn’t manage to solve Cyprob) he is expected to announce his drive for re-election on October 4.

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Busy schedules
Also extremely busy during August were Anastasiades’ challengers – Nicholas Papadopoulos, Stavros Malas and George Lillikas.

A friend who follows closely Nicholas’ campaign reckons that although the Diko chief works really hard to meet as many voters as possible, his message doesn’t seem to have significant reach.

My friend and source says people have started realising that Nicholas’ close aides do not cut it as political heavyweights – something that could dent his ability to govern.

Malas, who is Akel’s ‘independent’ candidate, has dutifully toured the Paphos area in August and once even demonstrated his singing abilities.

Citizen Alliance’s candidate George Lillikas was also present on stage at this particular event. Lillikas is doing his best to secure a credible percentage (around 7%-8%) in the first round, in order to be the kingmaker in the second.

I could sense it from the public statements, but now I have it also from a good authority that the Turkish Cypriot leadership is in limbo.

Mustafa Akinci has always been the politician who advocated a federal solution for Cyprus. This was indeed his main promise before his election, two-and-a-half years ago. But now that negotiations for a federal state have collapsed, I hear Akinci is a bit puzzled.

He struggles to find ways to proceed politically. Publicly he says things like “the Turkish Cypriots should go their own way”.

Nobody from his circle can really explain what he means by that exactly. The Turkish Cypriot media float around many ideas ranging from the ‘taiwanisation’ of the north to the creation of a recognised state.

But, in reality, many people feel that the only feasible scenario for the north is even more integration with Turkey.

The Turkish Cypriot negotiator, Ozdil Nami, will stick to his position until the United Nations General Assembly in September.

He will probably accompany Mustafa Akinci to New York – for whatever meaningless meetings both Cypriot sides hold there every year – and then he will dash off.

Nami wants to run for an Assembly seat next year and this exercise needs lots of preparation on both parts of Cyprus.

Trouble ahead
As if Akinci’s woes were not enough, there is also talk that coalition partners UBP and DP are planning to bring a motion to the Assembly to change the Turkish Cypriot leader’s mandate to represent his community in negotiations for a federal settlement.

The coalition leaders Ozgurgun and Denktas would rather transfer this mandate – and the negotiating authority – to themselves.

Black spots
You remember, I am sure, the many complaints issued at the beginning of the month, about the dirty seawaters in Limassol.

Not a flattering situation for a summer tourist destination such as Cyprus. Last week, a reader wrote to me to complain about dirt in Larnaca’s Phinikoudes beach.

This time not in the water. While digging the sand his kids found foul -smelling black spots that could only come from sewage. I remind you that Phinikoudes is a beach awarded an EU blue flag.

And I wonder how come dirt from the town’s sewerage system can exist in the sand and not have been able to find its way to the water?

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