I agree that Tassos will most probably win the elections.
But I don't think that it makes much difference in the end as far as the Cyprob is concerned.
Bizonal Bicommunal Federation as a possible solution for the Cyprus issue is dead. Major contributing factors to its death have been:
- Makarios' decision to "negotiate first, and tell the people later". "Of course tney can't all go back to their homes, but we won't tell them now". That accounts for the first three years of lies after 1974 - the "covenant of Makarios" which has been the cornerstone of the Greek Cypriot attitude to the Cyprus issue since Makarios' death in 1977.
- Circumstances after Makarios' death which allowed the Greek Cypriot political leadership to continue telling the Greek Cypriots the same lies and fairy tales for another 27 years. Nobody explained that the best we could hope for was a situation where a significant proportion of the Greek Cypriots would go back, some of them would go back under Turkish Cypriot jurisdiction, and the Turkish Cypriots would be participating in central government on a more or less equal footing. Instead, their political leadership has been force-feeding Greek Cypriots fairy tales about the blue Cyprus of their dreams, which would one day be granted to them because they have a God-given right to it. Unfortunately, that was, and probably still is, the way to do politics and get elected to power in Cyprus, but even more unfortunately for the Greek Cypriots, in international politics God-given rights count for nothing.
- The total and complete political defeat of the Greek Cypriots on every front during and after 2004, which is clear to anyone who is in any way in touch with reality. The extent of this defeat will become evident when the next serious negotiations for the Cyprus issue begin again. I don't think there is any Greek Cypriot who honestly believes we can negotiate our way to a solution which is better for us than the Annan plan was.
- The hardening of the Turkish position on the Cyprus issue which is a direct consequence of the above utter political defeat. The Cyprus issue is little more than a minor nuisance to Turkey now. The only time in the Turkey's history when the Cyprus issue became a real problem for the important long-term strategic plans of that country was in 2002-2004. It now no longer is. The Turkish political leadership has achieved everything they wanted to achieve in the Cyprus issue without removing a single soldier or settler from Cyprus, or giving back one inch of land. In short, Turkey has won, the Greek Cypriots have lost, and in politics and war, it's not the victors who concede anything.
- The opening of the Green Line checkpoints in 2003. Since then, the Greek Cypriots have been able to directly witness the extent of Turkification of the North in the last three years. This has shattered their hopes of ever being a significant presence in the North of Cyprus again, and, logically, they can't see why, having lost half their country, they should grant the Turkish Cypriots anything else.
- The enactment of the Green Line regulation of 2004, and the induction of Cyprus into the EU with the issue unsolved. Since then, the Turkish Cypriots have got most of what they wanted when they were demonstrating on the streets in 2002 and 2003. They now have European Union passports, the average income has soared, the value of the land they can sell has skyrocketed. All they lack is direct flights to the airports in north Cyprus. Once that is achieved, it's end-game - they will be interested in very little else the Greek Cypriots can offer them. All the other barriers they are facing because of the Cyprus issue have become the object of attention of the international community and they will, within the next few years, cease to be a real impediment to the lives of any of them. If the Annan plan were presented to the Turkish Cypriots again today, it is unlikely a majority would vote in its favour - let alone in favour of any Greek Cypriot pipe-dream solution which would be better for the Greek Cypriots than the Annan Plan.
- The gradual Turkish Cypriot realisation, after 2004, of just how little acceptance of anything or anyone Turkish, Turkic or Turkish-speaking there is among Greek Cypriots. Turkish Cypriots were, until 2003, laboring under the misapprehension that the average Greek Cypriot could make a distinction between the Turkish army of occupation and the Turkish Cypriots. Experience of how the collective consciousness of 1974 has influenced Greek Cypriots has been a rude shock to most of them, and they have adjusted their attitudes accordingly.
Bizonal Bicommunal Federation is dead as the basis for a solution.
It is, however, very much alive as an alibi for the political leaderships on both sides. The politicians of both sides are now happy to continue mouthing platitudes about a "Bizonal Bicommunal Federation With The Right Content" for the next thirty years or more, while each is furtering its own plans - and re-uniting Cyprus under a Bizonal Bicommunal Federation does not feature in the plans of either set of politicians, no matter what they say about it. And just about everyone else who has a say or any influence in it - UN, EU, Americans, Brits, Turks, Greeks - will be happy to let them continue, because their plans are served as well.
So there you have it. Tassos will probably win the election, but in the end it doesn't make much difference as far as the Cyprus issue is concerned.
So, leaving the Cyprus issue out of it, a conscientious voter would have to choose on the basis of who would do the best for the country as far as all the other issues are concerned. Or, as the immortal words of Harry Klynn put it much better, "not who would do the best, but who would do the least worst (sic)".
For myself, I think that's probably Kassou, but because of that damn Cyprus issue, I don't think he has a snowball's. And given the track record of every political party in Cyprus when it comes to screwing up on most fronts, I don't think there's much difference there either.