By Andreas C Chrysafis*
Revolution of the Mind series
The campaign for a new President in Cyprus is underway! Party candidates and “independents” are sharpening their tongues to convince citizens to elect them for the top chair.
One of them will certainly be elected as a new president to “govern” the country.
And so the battle for the President’s Chair begins….
VOTES and TRUST (6)
Votes and Trust are earned and not given like candy to politicians or to candidates!
Listening to President Anastasiades’ interview on Sigma TV last week, people heard nothing of significance except for a string of self-praises, arrogance and accusations against his critics and opponents. He also praised his government’s 10-year-reign as “a success story” that “saved the country from ruin!”
Most irritating, he took the opportunity to urge citizens vote for the presidential candidate of his party’s choice. In doing so, he has abandoned his impartiality as a president vowed to represent all people equally and without political bias! President Papadopoulos in 2004 did the same; he shed crocodile tears on public television to influence Greek voters not to approve the UN Annan Plan Referendum taken by both Greek and Turkish Cypriots for a Cyprus settlement.
A country is rich only when the nation is governed by people who are rich not of money but of principles and conviction to do the right thing for the common good and the protection of the less fortunate sector in society. Today, there are thousands of citizens and families that subsist below poverty line and will disagree with the president’s self-praising comments of “prosperity”.
But in reality, there can never be a good leader or a good government as long as politicians remain morally impoverished and hope to snatch some compensation from a political career at the cost of the country.
Presidents in Cyprus embedded with unworthy officials have in fact failed the country since 1960. They have systematically chosen to turn a blind eye to the biggest scourge in society; the endemic virus of institutional corruption! Under the present government, corruption has skyrocketed and shows that: where there is no law there is no justice or wrong!
Without a doubt, the Presidential System provides the platform for nurturing an “elected-democracy” and “elected-dictators” as opposed to the Parliamentary System where the Head of State is accountable to Parliament and can be ousted by a “no-confidence” majority vote. The Cyprus Constitution enshrines the president to act above the Law and cannot be overthrown unless he/she “approves it!”
The recent decision by Parliament to stop home-repossessions of the poor by corrupt banks and hedge funds, has been overruled by the President in order “to protect the economy”. That same pretext was used in 2013 Troika Bail-in robbery when like thieves in the night, the Anastasiades government emptied people’s bank accounts without asking to save private banks from collapse – history repeats itself!
This is a classic case were under a Presidential System, an individual has the overwhelming constitutional powers to overrule the decision of Parliament/Vouli; a practice considered anathema in any other Parliamentary Democratic System. As it happens, Cyprus is the only EU-State that practices such a presidential system of government!
The Constitution of the Republic certainly demands revision and bring it closer to the people under an accountable and transparent government where its leadership can be answerable to the elected parliament and be removed if necessary!
But, it would take a real Leader with a real vision to introduce radical constitutional changes to the current defective political system; a system that has segregated the island since 1960 ethnically, politically and socially under an apartheid-style constitution and governance!
Meanwhile, citizens hope for the illusive miracle after the elections!
*Andreas C Chrysafis is a UK published author of five books and over 450 press articles but also a recognized artist. He is not political affiliated but a strong advocate for Democracy, Transparency, Equality and Human Right and a robust opponent to Corruption. www.artpal.com/chrysafis https://www.amazon.com/Andreas-C.-Chrysafis/e/B00478I90O…