Why I will vote for Andreas Mavroyiannis on the 2nd Sunday of the elections

10/02/2023 14:42:29 Comments From Costa Gavrielides

As an Advisor to the President of the Republic on issues of Multiculturalism and Diversity, I had the privilege to serve my community in a meaningful way. This role gave me a journey of deep understanding of the importance of diversity in shaping the future, but also of significant personal development.

As a supporter of the Democratic Rally and its principles, I also believe in the need for progress on issues such as the Cyprus problem, the European course of Cyprus and the modernisation of the Economy. At the same time, I did not hesitate to express my different thoughts on managing migration, which I recognise is a problematic issue. Above all, however, I struggled to change erroneous views that prevented the construction of an inclusive and inclusive society concerning the personal self-determination of citizens where the state and taboos have no space. I have been - and will continue to be - an advocate of voices that often endanger their personal safety to assert their self-evident rights.

As a member of DISY, I expected a difficult second Sunday, but I never stopped believing in our ability to fight for what we believe in. I think that Averoff Neophytou was the most experienced and suitable candidate for the President of the Republic, that he could manage the Cyprus problem with realism and a sincere will for a solution, but also the Economy correctly. At the same time, he dared to take the most precise position on LGBTQI+ issues and to come up with the most detailed action plan from all the candidates. 

I strongly support the decision of the Political Bureau of DISY to urge its members to vote according to their conscience, even though it confronted me with a difficult decision: between my vote for Nikos Christodoulides supported by DIKO, EDEK, DIPA and others, and Andreas Mavrogiannis supported by AKEL. 

As Counsellor to the President, I collaborated positively with Nikos Christodoulides, through which we achieved significant progress on the issues in my portfolio. By overcoming obstacles and reactions, we were able to achieve the accession of Cyprus to international organisations for LGBTQI+ rights, the organisation of an LGBTQI+ Conference from the Middle East & North African Organisations in Cyprus, the support of the Council of Europe on LGBTQI+ issues and the preparation of the ground for the signing of a Memorandum on LGBTQI+ issues with the United Kingdom. For these and more, I appreciate Nikos Christodoulides.

However, the announcement of his candidacy and how it was made brought around him extremely conservative forces. People who, over time, represent anachronism and preservation and express views that I dangerous. Individuals and parties who cling to the past and in populist rhetoric reject even the Bicommunal Bizonal Federation as a solution to the Cyprus problem without daring to propose anything else and who capitulated when the country needed to adopt difficult decisions. Various among them also often express homophobic and transphobic positions.

As a result, Nikos Christodoulides began to adopt increasingly conservative views, avoiding reacting or taking positions that might displease his surroundings. It disappoints me that, while as Minister of DISY, he accepted the need for progress and change, as a Presidential Candidate he ceased to do so and avoided clarifying his positions. Even today, as other candidates have done, he has not stated what he will do as a President to improve LGBTQI+ rights in the next five years. His reluctance to answer to the Accept questionnaire clearly, underlined the fact anew, while he did not hesitate to include even transphobic statements in his notes / answers.

At the same time, I do not hide the fact that I am also concerned about the possibility of our return to the economic reality of 2008-2013 and I do not believe that AKEL has honestly taken responsibility for the role it played during that period. Then, from the opposition position, he also often spoke in populist terms. 

I recognise, however, that the left has acted in recent years as an ally of social claims and is often now on the right side of history. It understands and supports the need for personal freedoms that recognise the individual's rights. At the same time, it has always supported the efforts to solve the Cyprus problem through the BBF and has strongly demanded the resumption of negotiations. 

Today, in order for our country to be able to move forward, both nationally and socially, it needs consensus, acceptance of the different and mutual understanding. I feel that this is the time to transcend ourselves and look to the future, on the basis of what unites us. 

As a progressive individual whose main priority is human rights and the sincere effort for a practical solution to the Cyprus problem, I believe that voting for Andreas Mavroyiannis next Sunday is the right choice for the country, and that is what I will choose. 

I hope that Andreas Mavroyiannis will be surrounded by the right people and, most importantly, that he will remain open to the voices of civil society and not just listen to them. So far, his election campaign has shown that he is willing to accept and respond transparently to difficult issues, and I hope he will continue to do so. In any case, the role of DISY will be necessary as a responsible opposition.

As a progressive individual whose main priority is human rights and the sincere effort for a practical solution to the Cyprus problem, I believe that voting for Andreas Mavroyiannis next Sunday is the right choice for the country, and that is what I will choose. 

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Costa Gavrielides

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