Speech by the General Secretary of the C.C. of AKEL S.Stefanou at the 27th Conference of AKEL Limassol District Organisation
28 May 2022, AKEL C.C. Press Office, Nicosia
The Conference of the Limassol District Organisation of the Party is taking place just a few months after the Pancyprian Regular Congress of the Party.
Our Congress discussed and took decisions about the Party itself, setting the goal of winning back the forces it had lost in an admittedly very adverse political and socio-economic environment, both locally and internationally.
The Congress set the goal of upgrading the Party’s activity and enhancing its role and intervention in society.
In an environment that fosters distrust and doubt towards parties, but also towards the notion of waging collective and organized struggles to win rights.
In an environment that produces and generates pessimism, fatalism and submission to phenomena and policies that degrade and demean people and human civilisation.
These phenomena, which aren’t only being observed in Cyprus, undermine and seek to nullify organised participation and struggle, which is one of the cornerstones of the Left’s activity.
The Congress decisions have been approved. As the Party leadership we are called upon to promote and implement them. We must do this by starting first and foremost form ourselves. From our Party.
We want to render our Party more effective in its actions for the benefit of our country because AKEL is a profoundly and unwavering patriotic party that puts our homeland Cyprus first and above everything else because without a homeland our people cannot have neither a present, not a future too.
It is for this reason that we have always stood at the forefront of our people’s struggles to free ourselves from colonialism, for the completion of our country’s independence, for the defence of its territorial integrity and freedom and for the defence of democracy against fascism and the ultra-right.
We have stood in the frontline of our people’s struggle for the solution of the Cyprus problem so that Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots can once again manage and shape their future together in their common state within the framework of a free homeland, free from occupation and divisive barbed wire.
Our Congress decided that we must further strengthen our relations with the working people, the popular masses and society in general. AKEL primarily fights for them and it is from them that AKEL primarily draws its strength.
There is no gain or achievement for the popular masses and our society that does not bear the indelible stamp of our Party. These gains have not only improved the conditions of working people socially and economically, but have also brought progress to our country.
- These gains developed the economy’s growth and society’s prosperity.
- They supported the welfare state and the rule of law.
- They created institutions and procedures to promote accountability and transparency.
- In general, these gains have given the Cypriot state the impetus to acquire the basic and necessary characteristics of a state governed by the rule of law.
- That’s how AKEL has become a force for progress and progress.
- That’s how it has become a powerful force with influence, playing an important role at all levels and in all aspects of our country’s political and social life.
- That’s how it has become a major national force, with influence and prestige, both within and outside Cyprus.
AKEL is a party that has always combined resistance and the rejection of everything that humiliates people and degrades their culture, with the elaboration and projection of positions and proposals to tackle problems, overcome difficulties and achieve solutions that open up new horizons and perspectives.
AKEL has a glorious past full of struggles, sacrifices and service to the people, of which it is quite rightly and justifiably proud of. Nevertheless, AKEL always has its eyes fixed on the future. It is never remained stuck in the past.
We make our vision and ideology the springboard and guidance for the struggles we wage to improve the working and living conditions of ordinary people and society. By doing so, we serve progress and demonstrate in practice our identity and character as a party that serves the many and the public interest and not the privileged few.
These outward-looking and creative characteristics of our Party must be further strengthened.
- We should upgrade their content with new forms and methods of work.
- We should be with more continuity and consistency among the people.
- We should be more visible in our actions and interventions so that people see and understand that we have not abandoned them, but are fighting for them and on their side.
- We should make them feel that they are not alone and helpless and that there is indeed a way out and a perspective and not for people to be drowned in pessimism and fatalism.
Within the framework of our Party’s District Conferences we must discuss all these issues, and promote and implement what we decided at our Congress. This is what we must do at today’s AKEL Limassol District Conference.
The District Organisations are key instruments in the Party’s overall actions. The better and more qualitatively they develop their actions, the more they contribute to the overall upgrading of the Party’s work and service.
The District Conference is taking place just a few months before the upcoming Presidential Elections in February 2023.
It is well known that the goal we have set for these elections is the election of a President who, on the basis of a progressive program, will open up new paths and perspectives for our Cyprus, society, for the working people and especially for our young generation.
This is precisely what AKEL has always done, and this is what we will do now. Especially in these elections, the result of which will determine a lot as regards our country’s course, in a period characterised by numerous deadlocks and problems caused by the 10-year DISY government.
On Sunday, June 5, our Party will take its final decision on the candidate it will support in the upcoming elections at an Extraordinary Pancyprian Conference.
It is also known that yesterday the Central Committee of the Party, after evaluating the discussion held in the party base organisations on the proposal to support the independent candidacy of Andreas Mavroyiannis, and after taking into account the result of the indicative vote in the Party Base Organisations, confirmed and will submit it before the Conference.
We believe that in the person of Andreas Mavroyiannis our country can once again move confidently towards the future.
We can achieve progressive change by mobilising all the forces of our country and all the talents of our people.
We can once again inspire society, leave fatalism behind and restore people’s optimism.
For AKEL, progressive change contains the vision, the action plan and challenges of the new era.
- Progressive change has a prominent, central position in promoting a solution to the Cyprus problem, so as to put an end to the occupation and reunite our country and people. We can do this provided that specific initiatives are taken and we seek to continue the negotiations from the point where they had remained at Crans Montana, making use of all the body of work that has been agreed to over many years of negotiations.
- Progressive change involves the shaping of a new developmental model to ensure stability and sustainability in the local economy. It will definitively and irrevocably leave behind “get-rich-quick” practices and circumstantial profit that became official policy and recurrent characteristics during the DISY administration.
- It will end logics and policies that sacrifice the environment for the sake of serving powerful interests.
- It will include the strengthening of the welfare state so that it can adequately and qualitatively meet all of society’s basic needs. It must decisively confront, rather than feed and reinforce, social inequality.
- For quality public health care to be provided universally and equally by the National Health Scheme.
- For a modern, democratic and humane Education that makes our children happy and does not burden them with stress and pressure, victims of an exams-centred system and private tuition system.
- It includes the restoration of the rule of law and combatting of corruption and entanglement/interwoven interests, which have reached unprecedented levels during the DISY party government.
- It includes the restoration of our country’s international credibility which has been shattered by the policies and practices pursued by the DISY government.
Our country faces numerous challenges. We need to rally as many forces as possible in the struggle to achieve progressive change.
It is precisely for this reason that we opted to support an independent candidate who can bridge differences, create convergences, synthesize and unite forces, and cultivate the ground for the necessary transitions.
We choose to support an independent candidate with experience, knowledge, skills, with relations/contacts in international relations, an honest and unblemished person.
We choose to support an independent candidate who can counter the distrust and suspicion with which a part of society views political parties and the political system and who can re-inspire optimism and the desire to create.
- It is with this independent candidacy that we appeal to the political forces and personalities who can see the deadlocks of the DISY government, to all those who see and seek change, to march together.
This is the invitation we address to the opposition forces. With the independent candidacy of Andreas Mavroyiannis, we address and call on them to forge cooperation.
In a few days AKEL will complete its democratic procedures. It will take its final decisions and devote all its energies and forces to the battle of the presidential elections with optimism, with strength, with confidence and momentum to finally turn the country around.
To open up new paths for new gains. For our Cyprus and our people!
Forward again! We can! We will succeed!