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12-02-2023 23:22

Presidential Elections 2023 – Speech by Mr Nikos Christodoulides, at his proclamation ceremony as newly-elected President of the Republic

Dear friends, compatriots, people of Cyprus, thank you from the bottom of my heart for the honour you have bestowed upon me. For the honour to elect me in the supreme office of the Republic of Cyprus. I am grateful for your trust, your love and your support. I shake hands with you all tonight, I look you in the eye. I look you in the eye and, in all honesty, I make you a promise. I will do everything in my power to prove worthy of your trust. I will spare no effort to realize the vision I have shared with you, so that we may create a free country that offers all citizens conditions of security and prosperity. A country without discriminations and separations.

The elections, dear friends, have come to an end. I would like to thank the Ministry of Interior and all the people who have worked for the election process. The people of Cyprus have spoken.

Dear friends, the election campaign belongs to the past. We leave behind what has hurt us and caused us bitterness. Tomorrow marks the dawn of a new day, which will find us united and determined to put into practice everything we have promised the Cypriot people. I would like to thank you all.  I thank the citizens. I thank the people of Cyprus for honouring me with their vote. I extend my thanks to the political forces who supported our efforts. I would like to thank the Democratic Party. I thank EDEK. I thank DEPA. I thank the Solidarity movement. I thank the Hunters Movement. I thank the Animal Party. I thank all the organizations that supported us, all the organized groups and of course, our volunteers. Our volunteers throughout Cyprus who have stood by my side selflessly throughout all these months, assuming a leading role in this effort. Allow me dear friends, to make a special reference to my family that stood by my side throughout this exceptionally difficult journey. I would like to thank my wife, my children, all my family members in Cyprus and the United States, who have been a source of support throughout all these months. But I would also like, dear friends, to thank all of our fellow citizens tonight, who made other choices. This is the essence of democracy. I honour and respect them all. In the Cyprus that I envision, dear friends, there are no “us” and “them’’. In Cyprus, the way I envision it, I will be President of all Cypriots.

At this point, I would like to thank all the political forces. I am sending, tonight, a sincere message of cooperation and readiness to join forces for the benefit of our country, for our Cyprus. I respect and honour AKEL, the great party of the Left. I respect and honour its leadership under Mr. Stefanos Stefanou as well as to its supporters. I send my unlimited respect to Mr. Andreas Mavroyiannis for the nice race we shared. But I would like, dear friends, to make a special reference to the Democratic Rally. 

I would like to refer to the Democratic Rally, to its president Averof Neofytou, its leadership, its people. I am very well aware of the fact that during this election campaign we went through hard times both on a personal and political level. I want everyone to know and I would like to assure them tonight that I will not disappoint them. I have spoken to Averof Neofytou, who has congratulated me. I would like to sincerely thank him and I intend to have a meeting with him, as soon as possible.

I would like, dear friends, to warmly thank tonight the President of the Republic of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades, for the long-term cooperation that we have had throughout all these years and for the confidence he has shown in me through the important positions he has assigned to me. I am especially grateful.

Dear friends, I am deeply moved that our pre-election program was welcomed by the majority, a program that was based on the dialogue with citizens, with civil society, with all Cypriots, with our youth as well as those who have retired. I would like to assure you tonight that this unprecedented effort of participatory democracy that began before the elections will continue throughout our term of office.

I would like to set out before you my priorities as President-elect of the Republic of Cyprus tonight. My greatest concern is to put an end to Turkish occupation, to reunify our country. I will do everything in my power in order to break the deadlock, to resume the dialogue, to create the conditions for the solution to the Cyprus problem, so as to find, dear friends, a solution that ensures for our children a reunified country on the ground, in the institutions, in the economy. A homeland that will respect the rights of all the legitimate citizens, Greek Cypriots, Turkish Cypriots, Maronites, Armenians and Latins. I would like to address, tonight in particular, our Turkish Cypriot compatriots who have been going through difficult times recently. We participate in their mourning and I would like to assure them that we are standing by their side.

I would like to reiterate that the current status quo cannot be the solution to the Cyprus problem. It cannot be the future of our country. Cyprus cannot be the last crippled state of the European Union. I have just spoken to the Prime Minister of Greece, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, and the President of the Hellenic Republic, Katerina Sakellaropoulou. Greece is our source of support and our selfless ally. I want to assure you that our relations will be further strengthened in all fields. I also spoke tonight with the President of the European Parliament, with the President of France, with Senator Menendez and other personalities from the wider Middle East.

Our European Western orientation constitutes our constant compass. This orientation will be further strengthened. At the same time, dear friends, we will continue to expand our relations with all countries in the region, as well as with all the forces that can play a significant role in ending the occupation and resolving the Cyprus problem, always within the agreed framework of the United Nations, and with full respect for the principles and values of the European Union.

Tonight, I would like to send a message of unlimited respect to our refugees, the enclaved, the victims, the relatives of our missing persons, to all those who are still suffering from the trauma of the invasion and the ongoing occupation. They remain at the forefront of our effort to put an end to illegitimacy and injustice. Dear, friends, with full awareness, I assume the enormous responsibility of looking at you, tonight. in the eyes. I want to promise you that I will do my best to live up to your hopes and expectations. I am ready to take over the governance of the country. I am ready to deal with the major challenges and with the important problems of everyday life. I am ready to work with you in order to build a future with a horizon, with hope and perspective for all. I am determined to form a government of broad social acceptance, with capable people from all the political spheres. People from the civil society and, of course, from the new generation of whom we are proud. National unity, dear friends is not a slogan. National unity, dear friends, is a historical necessity. I am focused on the next day for the immediate implementation of specific actions, for the economy, for  society, for everything you have pointed out to me as priorities. I have completed the preparation and I have a specific action plan for each ministry so that we can start working immediately.

Dear friends, my goal is to create a society that is inclusive, empathetic and that leaves no one behind. To create an extroverted economy that is resilient and competitive. A flexible, efficient state. A citizen-friendly state with transparency, meritocracy, justice and accountability. For a better quality of life in the city and in our countryside for all without exceptions. A homeland that will immediately ensure that it is not an attractive destination for irregular immigrants. A state that will effectively support the farmer and the breeder and which will effectively regenerate the primary sector in our country and revitalize the countryside. A Cyprus, which will be by the side of families and young people in practice, that will give decent pensions and support our vulnerable fellow citizens, offering equal opportunities to all those in need of special care and special support. A homeland that will set as high as possible the bar for education and culture, with good public schools and promotion of sport, arts and letters. A Cyprus with quality health services. Yes, dear friends, we will strengthen and improve the General Health System, the greatest conquest in recent years that ensures equal and universal access to health services for every citizen. Fellow compatriots, beginning from tomorrow we will take the first steps for better days. With unity, determination, self - confidence and pride. All these, to achieve tomorrow’s Cyprus together. Tonight, all of you are the winners. Together we embarked on this journey, we walked together and together we will continue it. From the bottom of my heart, I warmly thank you. Thank you for your support. Thank you for the courage, but also for the inspiration you gave me in this great race. The winner tonight is Cyprus. The winner tonight is our homeland. Let’s move on. Let’s move on in a hopeful spirit. Let’s move on, united, for Cyprus. Thank you very much!