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All that shines is not political gold

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You can tell we are entering an election year with male politicians pruning their feathers to display their presidential credentials.

The government is quickly going into ‘administration of the people’ mode, finding ways to throw money at the poor while keeping the wealthy filthy rich.

There’s no harm in it; it’s the way of the Cypriot political samurai who flash their promises like a pole dancer in a strip club.

They are coming for your vote and will tell you anything you want to hear to get it.

To be sure, the promises will be vague, bold in scope with no foundation in reality.

The 2023 Presidential Elections are one big power grab that will last five years and hopefully secure another five afterwards at the heart of government where real influence is wielded to serve special interests.

There is also a deep-seated arrogance that politicians believe they have something new to say when the same usual suspects are doing backroom deals to carve up the spoils of war.

Men in suits are doing the damnedest to ensure the election outcome next February is a foregone conclusion if they get the maths right.

It is the kind of privileged stitch-up that will try and keep women out of the picture and drive first-time voters away from the ballot box.

Movers and shakers have already drawn their line in the sand, hoping to sway enough cynics from smaller parties to make the numbers work.

I’m sure the government is praying that COVID will quickly fade away at the back end of the year because people dying on their watch is not great election material.

Moreover, it feels the government is beginning to lose its battle-hardened determination to smash coronavirus out of the park.

Health authorities seemed to have lost their focus and willingness to do what it takes to defeat the virus.

With more people dying than in recent months, there is hesitancy in what to do next a lack of certainty in dealing with the general public fatigue.

Cyprus will probably wait a few more weeks before following the example of other countries to announce that coronavirus is no longer a pandemic threat.

COVID is something we will have to accommodate, with groups of the population needing regular jabs as with the flu shot.

There are fears it could mutate into a feral monster, spurning a thousand variants, but it is a future we would rather look beyond after two years of the sickness.

When the government defends its legacy, it will point to a job well done during an unprecedented pandemic where Cyprus suffered less than most other countries.

Anastasiades will point to a robust economy on the rebound from a COVID-induced recession with unemployment falling.

Slogans

When it comes to the green economy, there is more smoke than substance where slogans shout louder than deeds.

Cyprus still uses ‘dirty’ fossil fuels to produce electricity. As a result, its renewable drive has a lot to be desired.

There will be commuter flights to space before Cypriot roads turn electric.

Digital transformation sounds good, but the government’s road map is lost in the woods burnt by forest fires.

Taking the next big stride into e-government means the entire public sector needs to be re-educated; the education system is not built for that purpose.

During an election, the candidates will walk on broken glass to make an impression.

Communists AKEL knows they are damaged goods with the wider electorate, which is why it has the opportunity to show courage and support one of its own.

Irene Charalambides is a female AKEL MP with a rare gift to appeal across partisan political lines.

She is popular, capable, and a different voice, but AKEL would rather hide behind someone else’s party and gain ministerial posts by default.

It highlights the state of Cyprus politics when the main opposition party loses votes against a government mired in corruption and sleaze.

One glaring blot on the horizon that nobody can tackle is deadlocked Cyprus talks.

Under the Anastasiades administration, Cyprus has edged closer to partition than ever before.

Nicosia’s policy of poking the Turkish bear has produced nothing but bluster and toxic vibes, turning the island into a cauldron of mistrust.

Even the UN has given up trying to stitch us back together, sticking to everyday things like restoring monuments.

Once Cypriots get into a negative mindset, there is no changing the outcome unless a comet destroys the earth.

A lot can and will happen until next year, but the political landscape will look as barren and devoid of inspiration as it ever did.

And if a war in Ukraine stops the tourists coming, then Cypriots will need a saviour, not a lame-duck president.