South Cyprus – 9th of June – double elections – the need for a cooperation of the anticapitalist left

On June 9, Cypriots are called on to vote for local and European Union representatives. Once again, working women and men have no candidates who represent their needs and rights. The following is an announcement from groups involved in the initiative for a front of the anti-capitalist left

In recent years, local communities have been confronted with the systematically planned shrinkage of state funding, the methodical stripping of municipal and community councils of basic responsibilities and the understaffing and underfunding of infrastructure and services, with the transfer of project management to large private entities and big contractors. All this has exacerbated issues for the working class such as housing, cost of living, sanitation, the environment, traffic and public spaces. This year, under the new law, this underfunding, which has reached 2013 levels, will exacerbate other aspects of our lives as municipalities get caught up in other responsibilities, normally the preserve of other state agencies but now have to be included in the local budget.

For both elections, unfortunately, the existing candidates cannot offer meaningful expression and inspiration for the working class, the precariat and the underrepresented social groups of Cyprus. On the contrary, they foster ideological confusion and divert progressives, now divided, towards mediocre, colourless and liberal candidates and positions, and the youth to abstention.

The AKEL leadership continues along the beaten track, supporting right-wing and centrist candidates, as a continuation of the political orthodoxy and defeatism of recent years, being the most responsible for the absence of a truly left-wing alternative in municipalities and communities. The continuous drift of its leadership to the right in a constant effort to de-ideologise its members and voters creates, among other things, frustration and favourable conditions for the rise of the far right. A clear example is that it has handed over all the major municipalities to right-wing and technocratic candidates.

As far as the European elections are concerned, the only elections in which workers from both communities can vote, the majority of the candidates support either big capital on both sides of the island or nationalist approaches to the Cyprus problem which, although Turkish Cypriots are included on the ballot papers, end up pandering to Greek Cypriot nationalists.

Only an anti-capitalist electoral alliance, emerging from the understanding and cooperation of the forces of the left, the environmental movements and the wider milieu in the south and north of the island, could provide a real alternative through democratic and open processes.

A year ago, as the driving force that took the initiative to create a front of the anti-capitalist left, we began to invite and meet with all the collectives and movements of the anti-capitalist left to create a political coalition for the elections with a common anti-capitalist programme and organised open public invitations to non-aligned citizens in Nicosia and Limassol.

Our initiative invited all, in a unifying approach that maintains the individual self-reliance and independence of each and every one of us, fighting for the interests of the many, the needs of the workers and the protection of the environment, to build a front for our class, with motivated political action.

Unfortunately, the majority of our approaches were not well received and so, we will not be putting forward any candidates in these elections. However, in spite of this, a number of our meetings have built links with groups and movements across the island, which encourages us to continue our efforts to build an alliance of the anti-capitalist left. 

The day after, we continue to strive for the creation of the alternative for the workers, the youth, the grassroots, away from the darkness of the extreme Right, the self-delusions of the liberal “progressives” and the policies of impoverishment of the extreme centre. We push back, we engage, we fight and demand public spaces, greenery, open squares, public infrastructure, social welfare and social housing. We are fighting for a Europe of the People, of Democracy and Peace. It is struggle, engagement and our unity that brings relief to society, to one and all. 

Initiative for a front of the anti-capitalist left:

  • New International Left – NEDA
  • DiEM25 in Cyprus
  • Action Network for the Housing and the City
  • Non-affiliated members

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