The Supreme Council of the ruling Democratic Rally party (DISY) has unanimously ratified the candidacy of party chairman Averof Neofytou for the presidency of the Republic. As party leader George Lysandrides said, no other nominations were submitted. Board members verified Neofytou’s candidacy by a show of hands.
Neofytou accepted the ratification of his candidacy for the presidency by recalling the slogan of the founder of DISY and former president Glafkos Clerides: “United, United, United, never defeated”.
Addressing the event, Cypriot President and former DISY President Nicos Anastasiades spoke about historic and responsible decisions, which will determine the stability of the country.
“Today is a historic day, as the party unanimously decides that my successor will be my close partner,” he noted.
President Anastasiades spoke about the achievements of his administration over the past ten years and stressed the importance of unity within the party.
“I was one of the founding members of the party. Now, as I leave, please preserve the unity of the party,” he said, and called on party members to stand with Averof Neofytou, whom he described as “the patriarch of the party”.
For his part, Neofytou, who is also president of the party since 2013, presented his vision for Cyprus which is based as he said on Security – Growth – Solidarity. He proposed five key changes for his five-year governance.
The first change he proposed is “the whole state on the citizen’s mobile”, to end bureaucracy and corruption. The second change concerns affordable housing for young couples. Third, opportunities for young people to start their own businesses, as well as opportunities for well-paying jobs in the public and private sectors.
The fourth change he proposed is a radical reform of education, with a full-time school and no additional tutoring. The fifth change is to support the modern family and the working mother, promoting flexible working hours and substantial financial assistance for every child born. In addition, he spoke of a new policy for refugees, for fairer treatment by the state.
Moreover, referring to the rallying of Western allies on Ukraine, the President of DISY noted that Cyprus could be part of this momentum, adding that the country could contribute to European energy security but also seek a process of solution to the problem. Cyprus, based on a bizonal approach. bicommunal federation, freed from the Turkish occupation army and the “outdated guarantees of the 1960s”, which he proposes to replace with the security of the new European defense mechanisms.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Repeated rounds of UN-led peace talks have so far failed to yield results.