Independent presidential candidate Achilleas Demetriades sent a message of hope for a reunited Cyprus in his speech at the final election event held at the Journalists House in Nicosia on Monday, January 30.
He also called on everyone to exercise their right to vote with dignity, stressing that his candidacy offers the opportunity to a new social movement to make their voice heard at the ballot box and bring new forces to the foreground.
“The presidential elections are only the beginning. We will also be together the day after. I tell you, standing here from the most official podium: I have come to stay”, he told the audience, adding that he is asking for peoples’ vote and support so that rules will be adhered to, so that we can put an end to corruption and complicity, and in order to give young people and our children prospects for the future.
Welcoming attendees, independent presidential candidate Achilleas Demetriades noted: “We are all here because we will not come to terms with corruption and partition, because we believe that we can become a normal EU member state and because we believe that our goal of an honest state can be attained.”
The dilemma on February 5 is clear, he stressed: The same old story, or progress? To describe the problems, or to set objectives and to work hard to achieve them? “That is what is at stake in the elections and that is why I am here.”
My programme sets the foundations for a Cyprus of growth, based on green policies, with aspirations and proposals for feasible solutions and above all with leaders who lead by example, Achilleas Demetriades continued.
We must exit the vicious circle that the outgoing president and his three close associates have put us in, the presidential candidate stressed.
“We can change things, by aligning ourselves with Europe, with energy serving as a catalyst for a settlement and by regaining our credibility in the EU, the UN and the Council of Europe,” the independent candidate stressed, noting that we need a change in faces, policies and behaviour to convince about our intentions with actions and not with words.
We can bring the substance of the Cyprus issue back to the forefront with a European Action Plan that will include, among other, the appointment of an EU envoy to the talks, EU participation in the UN’s security mechanism, the design and financing of large projects by the EU budget and making full use of our shield, which is our participation in the EU.
Concluding he called on friends and associates, present or absent, to give it their all and to work to make a difference and to resist party rule.
“The return of hope is here. Together we will join forces for the battles ahead and we will succeed. My contract with the people reads: Cyprus deserves better,” he said.
He thanked friends and associates who were not at the event, and above all his supporters, the campaign team and his family for the journey.
The event was also addressed by campaign spokesman Christoforos Triantafyllou, Opek president Dr Theano Kalavana and actor Popi Avraam.
Brief videos of Achilleas Demetriades’ campaign, which was officially launched on February 28, 2022 when he announced his candidacy for the presidency, were screened during the event.
Speech at the final campaign event
30 January 2023
Thank you all for coming this evening.
Your presence, the statements of support and your messages give me strength and joy to continue what we started together.
The quality of the people I see here tonight is perhaps the most hopeful message as to the prospects of this endeavour.
We are here because together we want to do something more for our country.
We are here because we are not used to giving up.
None of us will accept the idea that “this is how things are, nothing can change.”
A lot is not going well in our country, and that is why we must do something!
- We are all here because we will not come to terms with corruption and partition.
- We are all here because we believe that we can become a normal EU member state!
- We are all here because we believe that our goal of an honest state is achievable!
That is why I am in these elections. So that we can change things together.
I believe that our country needs a new way of governance.
Our basic objective is to address corruption.
With a programme that will lay the ground for a Cyprus of growth, relying on green policies.
- To contest means to participate. It means that I propose feasible solutions.
- A Cyprus settlement is in the interest of all Cypriots!
- From a state synonymous with corruption, we should move to an honest state!
- From lack of transparency to transparency, accountability, respect for laws and rules.
- And above all! With leaders who lead by example!
People are fed up of empty words and the continuous erosion of institutions.
They can see that we are heading towards the rocks of partition.
Their disappointment is obvious.
I am aware of the difficulties, but I reject the excuses for inaction.
This is how I understand my participation in public life.
I declared my candidacy 11 months ago. With the hard work of a large group of people and a large number of meetings with members of the public, we have enriched our programme and I stand here before you today. I have learned to respect, to listen and to learn from everyone.
I want to be creative, to participate and to make whatever changes can improve our lives!
The dilemma on 5 February is clearcut: the same story or progress?
Do we just describe the problems or set objectives and work hard to achieve them?
This is what is at stake in the elections and that is why I am here!
Lack of action and of credibility have brought us an inch away from partition.
But I will never accept the defeatist minds that see a border with Turkey at the end of Ledra Street!
Nor can I live with the current illusion of security.
What is the legacy of the 10-year Anastasiades government?
Corruption and steps towards partition. This is the inheritance of a lost decade! Next to him, his three close associates.
They bear a big share of responsibility because of their silence and subordination!
They may talk otherwise today, but during the critical hours, they simply applauded!
They are all part of the problem and not of the solution!
We can change the situation in the Cyprus issue!
By aligning ourselves with Europe.
With energy as a catalyst for a settlement.
We have “two keys” in order to unlock the process.
Firstly, natural gas and secondly EU -Turkey relations.
But above all, we must regain our credibility.
In Brussels – at the EU
In New York – at the United Nations,
In Strasbourg – at the Council of Europe.
Today, no one believes us.
Look at what happened in Varosha. In the past four years, they have all sat by and watched. They have nothing to propose and they have not done anything substantial to avert the worst.
I have been saying for a long time that Varosha is the beacon to a settlement. If this beacon goes out, we will lose our way towards a settlement and fall on the rocks of partition.
It is our responsibility to stop this slide towards disaster.
We can bring the essence of the Cyprus issue back into the forefront!
How? With a European Action Plan.
- With the appointment of an EU envoy to the talks.
- With the participation of the EU in the UN’s security mechanism.
- With the design and financing of large projects with the EU budget, such as the reconstruction of Famagusta.
- That is why my response to the deadlock of two states is to capitalise on our shield, that is our participation in the EU!
- And of course, a Truth Commission.
First, we must exit the vicious circle that the outgoing president and his three close associates have put us in.
To change faces, policies and behaviours. To convince of our intentions, with actions not words.
For me, reform of the welfare state is a key priority. I support the massive project of a digital transition.
Immediate simplification of procedures, electronic submission of applications, communication with public officials by email, making use of social media.
We can digitize the public sector. How have other countries managed to do so? They succeeded because they put experts in the right posts. That is how we move forward, with meritocracy and the right choices! Not jobs for the boys.
A structured dialogue so that the strategy of ‘One Cyprus and Green’ is successful.
Immediate turn to renewable energy sources for a clean environment. It is our constitutional right!
Environmental policies that treat Cyprus as a single ecosystem. That is why I am proposing the establishment of a bicommunal technical committee to address the climate crisis, under the EU’s civil protection mechanism RescEU.
We want a secular school and modern education. We should give it the content that our youth requires. Not standardised knowledge but education and critical thinking for tomorrow, so that our children have a future in Cyprus.
We can improve GESY. It is an important achievement that needs better monitoring!
Corruption stems from a lack of transparency and the inability of the independent institutions to supervise the executive. What should we do?
- Separation of the powers of the Attorney General
- A change in the selection and appointment procedures of independent officials.
- Creation of effective and institutionalized checks on asset declarations.
With my candidacy, I want to give a new social movement the opportunity to express themselves at the ballot box.
With my candidacy, I want to give a voice to new forces and bring them to the forefront. Youth, women, people who feel the political system does not represent them!
The presidential elections are just the beginning.
We will stand together on the day after. There is still much to do.
Hope is back!
The first round offers the freedom of choice. Democracy means participation. We exercise our electoral right. We choose, with dignity, the candidate who represents us, who speaks to our heart and conscience.
I stand with integrity before you. As a genuinely independent candidate. With independent thought, but above all, independence in my decisions and with no reliance on parties.
For decades, I have conscientiously fought for the protection of human rights.
I have battled injustice and discrimination, against populism and empty promises.I declare, here at this official podium. I am here to stay!
Together, we can give prospects to Cyprus!
Together we can bring back hope!
I am asking for your vote and your support!
So that rules are adhered to, in order to end corruption and complicity, to give prospects to our youth and our children.
Together we must fight for a Green and United Cyprus!
We must break the stalemate and pessimism.
In the face of fear, we must create hope.
We must aspire, with Cypriot stubbornness and faith in diligence
WITHOUT delays and excuses
I want to rid our country of corruption.
I want to give it prospects, with a horizon of 2035.
I want us to solve the Cyprus issue because a settlement is to our benefit.
I would like to thank you again for the mass turnout.
I would also like to thank all the friends and associates who are not with us tonight, but especially all the supporters and my campaign team and my family for this journey.
From today until Sunday, give it your all!
Reach out, work so that we can make a difference and resist party rule.
Hope is back!
Together we will wage the battles that are ahead and we will succeed.
Our contract with the people reads:
Cyprus deserves better!