To recover from the meltdown in public support the government faces, the Democratic Rally (DISY) has decided to disassociate itself from the Anastasiades administration to win back disgruntled voters ahead of the May 30 parliamentary elections.
From the start of the year, opinion polls have indicated a general frustration towards the ‘establishment’ of the mainstream political parties, with analysts expecting ruling DISY and possibly others to lose seats.
And this, as a result of this government’s tolerance of the golden passports scandal, its reluctance to suspend the programme in time, resulting in a major embarrassment last year and the denial of there ever being an issue of complicity.
The poor handling of the economy, despite the seeming recovery, has hurt the core of small and medium-sized enterprises, facing closure and increased unemployment.
There is also resentment towards the government and its inability to contain or reduce the civil service payroll while cutting back on development projects.
With a relatively minor issue of the constant crashes of the COVID-19 vaccination portal and public reaction to the slow pace of inoculations, delay in orders, reports of favourable treatment and the constitutionality of several issues linked to vaccinations and the ‘coronapass’, DISY has decided to divert public attention.
Society is fed up with the questionable directives blurted out by the Health Ministry, causing psychological hardship and enormous financial loss to businesses and workers.
A scapegoat was needed.
And the target is none other than the deputy minister for innovation and technology, Kyriacos Kokkinos, whom the DISY leader has brazenly blamed for the gaffe with the vaccination portal.
Averof Neophytou has even criticised ‘highly paid’ officials for abusing their public position, but despite his parliamentary immunity allowing him to badmouth anyone, he stopped short of naming names.
Instead, in the usual political immaturity that best describes politicians in Cyprus, Neophytou hinted at scandals, which failed to convince Joe Public due to DISY’s poor record in public relations and its efforts to convince it is not involved in a slew of scandals.
After all, this is the same party trying to divert public opinion from the disintegrating Cyprus issue.
It recently employed negative advertising in its election campaign, similar to the ‘revolving door’ TV spots in 1988 that won the Republicans, and George H. Bush, the presidency.
Instead of identifying the obstacles that have prevented the widespread introduction of eGovernment during the past decade, or the online learning shortfalls of the Education Ministry, more people will be targeted over the next weeks as DISY, and other parties, try to win over voters.
Hopefully, in the elections, the Cypriot public will not vote like sheep and deny many incompetent politicians entry into parliament.
Otherwise, we deserve what we get.