In what is being a considered a groundbreaking move that will go on to redefine the political structure of Cyprus, the country’s interior ministry has approved its first ever “Russian party” comprising Russians who have gained Cypriot citizenship.
The newly-formed party that the interior ministry has approved is formally called ‘I the Citizen’ (EOP) will be unveiled officially in the upcoming week, according to the Cyprus Mail.
Widely known as the “Russian Party” in Greek-Cypriot media, the EOP is reportedly being headed by Alexei Voloboev, a Russian-Cypriot who owns a restaurant in Limassol and was granted Cypriot citizenship later in life.
The EOP filed an application to register as a new party with the interior ministry in May, and after much discussion and deliberation, was approved by the Cypriot regulatory body. Kypros Kyprianou, the permanent secretary of the interior ministry himself confirmed the approval, stating that the party had followed every rule and regulation and fulfilled every requirement.
While the party is indeed back by Russian businessmen who are based in Cyprus, Demetris Michalokakos, spokesperson for the party has told Phileleftheros, the local daily newspaper that the party is very popular and been welcomed by several Cypriots with open arms. He also added that the party was open to all Cypriots and Europeans citizens to join and be involved in.
The newly-minted party aims to bring about large improvement in the business side of public life, which includes (but is not limited to) developing new technology, advancing the e-government system, propelling the economy towards growth, and most importantly, cutting through red tape.
The party has a decent social media presence, which will only serve to expand in the near future. Currently, the party has accounts on Twitter (@EOP_CYPRUS), Instagram (@eop.cyprus) and Facebook (@EOP.Cyprus).
The party lists its mission statement on its social media accounts as “the unification of citizens of Cyprus with modern views into a single political party”. It also has some posts on social media which contain links to press stories about the party’s founding and logo.
While the details are unclear, it is known that the EOP plans to contest in the European parliament elections in 2019. It is unlikely, however, for the party to back any of its existing candidates in said elections.