Cyprus Editorial: A fresh voice in politics

13 December, 2017 | Posted By: Financial Mirror

It is that time of the year when every member of parliament justifies his/her salary by getting on to the podium and giving a long-winded speech to the plenary session on anything and everything, allegedly discussing the merits or opposing the government’s annual budget, submitted for the following year.

Being just 40 days away from the next presidential elections, the discussion (and level of conversation) has stooped to uninteresting, boring, obnoxious comments by one and all, with the exception being the fresh voice of Larnaca deputy Annita Demetriou.

Demetriou, one of the youngest members this parliament has had, even quipped about her age, “perhaps I am too young to give lessons to others,” but what she did was exactly that, and rightly so. She chose to talk about “youth and the future”, admitting that the administration she is working so hard to get re-elected, has had its shortfalls, has been slow in implementing various policies, but has done more good than many other governments.

And to think that the head of her own party, DISY, didn’t want her on the election roster during the last parliamentary polls, only to be proven wrong (yet again) with the popular support this young lady garnered and continues to enjoy today.

The discussion in the House turned into an election race, with all presidential candidates, including the incumbent, poor on their economy platforms, resorting to criticising their opponents and offering nothing substantial to the voters, who have very little to go on when it comes to choosing the next president of Cyprus.

A few commentators, apart from Anastasiades’ die-hard haters, have admitted to a rate of progress in some projects, naturally complaining that what the present administration offered was too little, or even “old news” regurgitated from past years’ budgets.

With the government backing down on the privatisation of utilities Cyta and EAC, slow on the establishment of junior ministries (it took them five years), and resorting to half-measures to satisfy blocks of voters using taxpayers’ money and by selling state assets, there seems to be little difference, in essence, in what political parties or their candidates have to say.

This could even suggest that some parties, realising the impossible task of getting elected, would prefer to see the incumbent staying in office, firstly to take the blame for any further setbacks in the Cyprus talks and, secondly, for them to have something to whinge about in parliament and on free air-time provided by TV stations, the day after the elections.

Until then, the only thing worth watching will be Annita Demetriou’s briefings, with a growing number of followers on social media suggesting this is the way of the future in politics.