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Home arrow newsitems arrow Cyprus' Election Boosts Conservatives, while also Welcoming New Parties + Citizens' movements

Cyprus' Election Boosts Conservatives, while also Welcoming New Parties + Citizens' movements

Written by ACM
Sunday, 22 May 2016

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*Strasbourg/Angelo Marcopolo/- The Governing in Cyprus Center-Right, ChristianDemocrat/EPP Party "DISY", (of President Nicos Anastasiades), not only came anew First in the Parliamentary 2016 National Elections, (Confirming most of the Popular Support it had Gained between 2011-2013), but it also Succeeded Now to Augment its Lead vis a vis the Second Party, AKEL of the Left, which it Distances in 2016 with More than + 5,02%, instead of just + 1,5% Back on the Previous, 2011 Election, (with almost 31% against 25% Now, instead of just 34,2% against 32,7% in the Past, respectively). The Third Party, DIKO's Centrists, remain at almost 15% (See Infra).

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Considering the Fact that Cyprus is due to take over, this year,  Paneuropean CoE's rotating Presidency for the period of November 2016 - May 2017, and it has just assumed the Important Responsibility to Chair CoE''s Ministerial Committee's Human Rights meetings, crucial for ECHR Judgement's Implementation, as New Vide-President since May 18, (i.e. more than 22 Years after its Previous CoE Presidency, back on 1994-1995 ; See "Eurofora" co-Founder's rfelevant Publications, then, via PIO/CNA, etc), even the Internal Political Developments in that Strategicaly located EU-Member Country, (added to the Sensitivity of the so-called International "Cyprus' Issue" vis a vis mainly Turkey), have, Today, an increasing Interest for large European Circles. (F.ex., Russian MEPs' eventual Return into CoE's Assembly is due to be Negotiated apparently during Cyprus' Presidency of Strasbourg's PanEuropean Organisation. While even ways to overcome the recent Aggravation of Human Rights and Democratic principles' Violations by Turkey may be examined also during that same period, since the Current, Estonian CoE's rotating Chairmanship, from May to November 2016, independently of its Efficiency, would probably Not have Enough Time to Settle all these matters). 

+ In addition, from a European Union perspective, Cyprus' DISY is tha Only Governing Party in the EU, which had to Implement a particularly Harsh, Austerity Program, but Succeeded to Get Out of that "Memorandum" supported by the EU, with the Economy Starting anew to Grow and Unemployment to Fall repeatedly, while, at the Same Time, it Consolidated its 1st Place, even with a Bigger Distance than before vis a vis all Other Parties, rightfuly observed its current Leader, Experienced former Minister, Averof Neofytou.  - EU (and €uroZone) Member "Cyprus is becoming a Succes Story", and its "People .. who Suffered", "should be Proud", stressed earlier the PanEuropean President of ChristianDemocrat/EPP Parties, Joseph Daul, who had Visited recently the Island, and met with with Anastasiades and Neofytou, dealing also with the Political Issue and the Talks for ReUnification with the Part still Occupied by Turkey's Military since the Invasion of 1974.
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However, President Anastasiades (who remains in Power until 2018), pointed at an exceptionaly augmented Abstention, (more than 33%, which is Unprecedented in Cyprus). Participation Fell indeed, from more than 78% back on 2011, to about 66% on 2016. A Higher level had been reached with 82% in the 2013 Presidential Election, which Evicted AKEL's Hristofias and was brillantly Won by Anastasiades, as a logic Aftermath of the unprecedented Popular Uprisings, since July 2011, against Hristofias' controversial and unpopular latest dealings on the National Political Issue of Cyprus, on Economy and on the scandal of the Deadly Explosions of Confiscated Arms inialy destinated to Syria via a Foreign Ship, added to various Denunciations for alleged Discriminations and/or AntiDemocratic Behavior against Dissident Journalists by some of his main but inexperienced assistants, etc., (See, f.ex. : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/cypruspeopleaskchristofiastoresign.html ).      


Indeed, Added to a + 12% More Abstentionists in 2016, compared to 2011, (Comp. Supra), anOther Unprecedented Novelty is the Emergence of a kind of "3rd Pole" composed by a Record High Number of various New Parties, and/or Newcomers at the Parliament, (i.e. who Won Now enough Votes in order to get Elected MPs for the 1st Time), Totaling about 25 % of the casted Votes.


On the Contrary, almost All the Mainstream and Pre-Existing Parties now Lose more or less of their Past Voters : The Worst Losses affect the main Opposition's Party AKEL (Left), with - 7 % Less, (while former President Hristofias' controversial former Spokesman, Stefanou, after Falling ...Last, at the 5th Rank, in the latest, 2015 Internal AKEL Elections for AKEL's central Committe, is Now even Bypassed by AnOther MP of his Party, Mrs Irini Haralampidou, who gets + 2.000 More Votes, as Local Media pointed out),  but also the Socialists and even the Center-Right DISY Party, with a Loss of almost or more than - 3 %, respectively,  followed by the Centrist Party of DIKO (led by the Son of former President Tassos Papadopoulos, Nicolas), which Limits its Losses Only to - 1,3%, (Surprising Pollsters who hadn't foreseen that it would manage to Stay at 14,5 %).


But the brand New Parties of "Citizens' Alliance" and of "Solidarity Movement", (created by former "DISY" MEP at EU Parliament, where she is still Member, Helen Theocharous, one among the most Popular MEPs in terms of Votes),  Win, for the First Time, More than 6 % and 5,23 % of Votes, respectively.  They are closely Followed by the Pre-Existing, but Doubling their Votes, Parties of the "Greens" with "Allied Citizens", and the Rightists of "ELAM" ("National Popular Front"), who Both Win + 2,6% More Votes Now (on 2016), than what they had in the Past (2011), Reaching up to a Total of 4,81% and 3,71% respectively. Ten Other, much Smaller, various Tiny New Parties, gather, All Together, almost 3% of the Votes, but don't have enough in order to be represented in the Parliament this time, remaining without any MP.           

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From a purely Political point of view, the Main Thrust of those "Newcomer" MPs, clearly points towards the Right side of the Political Spectrum : "Solidarity" Party's Leader, Theocharous, always was, and still is, a ChristianDemocrat/EPP MEP, (formerly of DISY Party), well known in Strasbourg, and even, notoriously, considered to Support more "Conservative" Values than the average Center-Right MP. But, probably, the Most Important Development, in this regard, is the Entry into Cyprus' Parliament, for the 1st Time in the History of the Country, of 2 Representatives from the Rightist, "ELAM" Party, ("National Popular Front"), considered to stand near Greece's "Golden Dawn" controversial Rightist Party. Even at an entirely Different register, the Experienced, long-time Leader of the "Greens" and "Allied Citizens"'  Party, Georges Perdikis, is not only an Ecologist, but also a consequent Political Fighter for the National cause of Cyprus, particularly for respect of Human Rights, and of the Unity and Sovereignity of the Country. So that, despite their Differences, Most of those "New" Forces could forge some unexpected Political Convergences on certain Key points, at least as far as tha National Issue of Cyprs is concerned, (Comp. Supra). Something Similar might, eventualy, occur even as far as it concerns the Leader of the "Alliance of Citizens" New Party, former Foreign Minister, (and former Candidate to the Presidential Elections), Georges Lillekas, (See Infra). Meanwhile, the Fact that Outgoing MP Nikos Koutsou had earlier chosen to Join that "Alliance of Citizens", indicates also possible Right-wing componentsd, at least partly.

But the Greatest "Novelty" in these, May 2016, Elections, obviously is, for Cyprus, the Multifacet Emergence of an Unprecedented Importance of the various roles that "Citizens" can play in nowdays Political Life. This New Phenomenon might have some Similarities, but, in fact, seems completely Different from that of "Ciutadinos"' Liberals in Spain, and/or from the "Freie Bürger" Rightists in Germany's mainly local/Regional Elections, since in Cyprus it stems from the unprecedented July-August 2011 Popular Uprisings against Hristofias' controversial Behavior then, (Comp. Supra), which had affected several victims, bringing Together the Legitimate Reactions of Socio-Politicaly Various kinds of People, woth from the Left and the Right sides of the Political Spectrum. They are Present in Today's Elections, from at least 3 concrete points of view : First, thanks to the Succes of the "Citizens Alliance" Party, which Won more than 6% of the Votes. Second, by the Bew Coalition between "Greens" and "Allied Citizens", which Won amùpst 5% pf Votes. Third, by President Anastasiades' particuliar stance vis a vis Citizens' active participation in the Political Life : After an Initial Intervention, already back on July 2011, to Condemn former President Hristofias' Order for the Police to Brutaly Disperse Thousands of Protestors gathered, Each Day, in front of an Entry to the Presidentual Palace's garden, and Defend Citizens' Right to Peacefuly (even if Criticaly and Loudly) and Massively Protest, Anastasiades also Included in his Political Program, a long series of Institutional and Legislative Reforms for Transparency and Accountability of Public Administration, Fight against Corruption, Consultation of legitimately Concerned Citizens, etc., which were added also to the Appointments of several Persons who have played a notable role in Citizens' Movements, at various Posts of Responsibility, (etc). One may say that he has become, after July 2011 Events, the Most "Citizen-Friendly" President in the History of the Republic of Cyprus, (despite Hard Problems to resolve and/or some unavoidable Errors, etc). A Big Change, compared to his own, Previous Political career, which Started since the July 2011 Events, and evolved further during and after the February 2013 Presidential Elections until now, adding to the overall emergence of Citizens' Movements in the Political Life of Cyprus, (Comp. Supra).


Last, but not least : Is, really, the above mentioned Diminution of the Left (mainly AKEL, and, to a Lesser extend, also Socialists, etc), a General and quasi-Structural Phenomenon, at least for this period of Time, or, rather, a Consequence of certain Errors committed, particularly on 2011, by former President Hristofias and some of his assistants, (including for eventual Abuse and/or Corruption accusations, etc) ?


It's Difficult to say, especialy since these are often InterRelated Factors. But several Converging Facts seem to indicate that the 2nd Hypothesis might contain a Large part of Truth : Indeed, as Cyprus' Media immediately observed, it's Mainly at Hristofias' own, former long-time Constituency, Kyrenia, (Occupied by the Turkish Army, and notorious Base of some among the Most politicaly Active Greek Cypriot Refugees), that AKEL marks the Heaviest Losses, Falling Down more than - 10 %. Moreover, his controversial former Spokesman, Stefanou, is Bypassed Today by a Simple MP as Mrs Irini Haralampidou, who takes +2.000 Votes More. This is Added also to the Fact, that, just 1 Year earlier, on 2016, Stefanou reportedly came Last, (Fifth among Five Candidates), even in AKEL's Internal Elections of Members of its Central Committee. On the Contrary, the current Leader of AKEL, Andros Kyprianou, might Not bear the main Responsibility for his Party's Heavy Losses in 2016, since, in the Previous Parliamentary Elections, Back on May 2011, when he Also Headed AKEL, on the Contrary, it Won + 1,4% and 1 MP more, apparently Because that Vote had taken place BEFORE the Heaviest Errors of Hristofias and of some of his Assistants Started to Aggravate and/or be Revealed to a Larger Public, particularly since the Beginning of July 2011, which notoriously led to an Unprecedented in the History of Cyprus, Popular uprise, (including, f.ex., by Daily Mass Demonstrations out of the Presidential Palace, attempts for Impeachment, etc), which  Boosted the Right side of Cyprus' Political Spectrum and various Forms of New "Citizens"' Movementts, (Comp. Supra).

 

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Meanwhile, it seems that one among the most frequently recurrent Questions in Cyprus' Internal Politics, i.e., with Whom the Centrist Party "DIKO" might become Ally in order to forge an Absolute Majority, Both immediately, f;ex. for the Vote of the Annual Budget and/or other Important Drafts in the National Parliament, but also, Later-on, in the forthcoming Presidential Elections of 2018, has already Started to be Raised, in real Practice : A clear Indication appeared to be, among others, also an unusual Photo of DIKO's current Leader, Nikolas Papadopoulos, Surrounded by DISY's Leader Averof Neofytou, as well as DISY's Top MEP Stella Kyriakidou, (Head of Cyprus' Delegation to CoE's Assembly in Strasbourg, where she currently Chairs its Committee of Social Affairs, and who has just Won a Record High Number of Votes in the Constituency of Capital City Nicosia), and Speaking with the first, during the Official Anouncement, at the Ministry of Interior, of the Final Results of the present Parliamentary Election of May 2016. Curiously, Neofytou, current leader of Cyprus' Biggest Party, that or DISY, (who had, apparently, taken the Initiative for that Inter-Party Dialogue), exceptionaly, didn't Wear his Tie, as also his Other Collegue, the Leader of the Small but Growing Party of the "Greens"+"Allied Citizens", Georges Perdikis, ho was standing however, Far Away)....


 - "The New Parliament (2016-2021) will be called to take Crucial and Important Decisions for the Future of our Country", both on the Political, Cyprus' Issue, and on Economic and Social Affairs, stressed, in substance, President Anastasiades, in an Official Written Statement shortly after the Anouncement of the main Results.                               

 

(../..)


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("DraftNews", as already send to "Eurofora's Subsribers/Donors. A more accurate, full Final Version, might be published asap).
 
 
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They voted to "freeze" UK Government's draft to put People in jail for 42 Days on "anti-terrorist" suspicion without charge, or they abstained. Don't they look suspect ?
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CoE's debate on UK controversy stirs PanEuropean check of anti-terror suspects' imprisonment

Former Leftists of the Sixties would boil in hot water if they heard PACE's debate on the controversial 42 days detention without charge, currently drafted by the British Government :

A "Socialist" Government, a Socialist PACE Rapporteur and a Socialist Chair of PACE's Legal Committee, opposed a .. "Conservative" amendment (supported by .. Liberals, Democrats, etc), to freeze the measure, in order to protect Citizens' Freedom, by "waiting" until CoE's Venice Committee checks its conformity with Human Rights' principles.

"Left"'s support to Conservative-Lib.Dem's criticism, wasn't enough to obtain a majority, nor to make things as they were back in the good old days, when "Left" and "Right" had a clear meaning, as "liberty" and "restrictions"...

Conservatives and most Democrats were joined by the Left in voting for the "freeze", as well as Liberal Paul Rowen, while Socialist MEP Ivan Popescu, an experienced MEP from Ukraine (PACE Member since 1996-2008) abstained. But most Socialists, added to a few Liberals and EPP's Right, voted against.

Fortunately, someone inside PACE had the wise idea to shorten the Debate for less than 1 Hour, and put it on the Agenda only at the end of an exceptionally busy day, towards the end of the Evening, when most MEPs had already gone to taste wins and foods at various Receptions all around Strasbourg's "European" area : As a result, not even 42 MEPs weren't present..

Socialist Lord Tomlinson accused the leaders of the PanEuropean Assembly, in its highest body : the "Bureau", to "lack wisdom" by deciding to hold a Debate on an issue that neither the Socialist Chair of the Legal Committee, nor its Socialist "reluctant Rapporteur", did "not want to do", ...

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Finally, everybody (critics and supporters alike) was happy to agree, in substance, that the controversial measure "may" gravely violate Human Rights, and therefore, PACE asked Legal Experts of Venice Commission to check UK Government''s plans.

But this might take more than .. 42 Days to do, since PACE's Rapporteur asked the Experts to enlarge their study in a PanEuropean comparison of all that is happening on "anti-terrorism" legislation in 47 CoE Member Countries, including Russia, Turkey and Azerbaidjan..

Bad lack : "The existing 28 days’ detention without charge in the UK is, in comparison with other CoE member countries, one of the most extreme : In Turkey, the period is 7,5 days, in France 6 days, in Russia 5 days, and in .. the U.S. and Canada just 2 and 1 days respectively", denounced Democrat MEP Ms WOLDSETH from Norway..

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"Numerous respected human rights organisations, including Liberty and Human Rights Watch, have expressed serious concern" "The proposed legislation ...could easily lead to extensive abuses. ...Detention for 42 days means six weeks in which one is taken away from one’s family, friends, home and livelihood only to be let off without being charged. That will destroy lives and isolate communities", she added.

- "3 years ago, the UK Government sought to increase the period of pre-charge detention from 14 days to 90 days. Not long before that, it had been only 7 days. There was a vigorous debate ...and a ...compromise was reached of 28 days. We have to ask whether there are proper safeguards in place to extend the period to 42 days. I suggest that there are fatal flaws", reminded British Conservative Clappison.

- "What sort of society holds someone in detention for 42 days and does not have to tell the person who is in prison why they are there, or explain the suspicions that arose and led to their detention? What sort of society believes that that is the way to treat its citizens? That is an appalling injustice, ...A 42-day detention period will not make the UK safer. Instead, it will be the first step to giving in to terrorists; it is saying that we are prepared to sacrifice our democratic rights and the principles for which we have stood for centuries", criticized British Liberal Michael Hanckock

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"Comments made ...by Norwegian delegates are unfortunate", replied British Socialist MEP Ms.Curtis-Thomas, accusing them to "besmirch the reputation of our police force, which is one of the Best in the World", as she said, believing that "there are significant safeguards ...to ensure that individuals are not subjected to unlawful detention"

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PACE "has serious doubts whether ...the draft legislation are in conformity with the ...case-law of the European Court of Human Rights. A lack of ..safeguards may lead to arbitrariness, resulting in breaches of ... liberty and ...right to a fair trial". PACE "is particularly concerned that: ..the judge ..may not be in a position to examine whether there exist reasonable grounds for suspecting that the arrested person has committed an offence;"; that "... representation by a lawyer may be inappropriately restricted or delayed;" that "information on the grounds for suspicion of a person ...may be unduly withheld.. ;" that this "may give rise to arrests without the intention to charge;", and; in general, that "prolonged detention without proper information on the grounds for arrest may constitute inhuman treatment", says Klaus De Vries' Report, adopted with 29 votes against zero.

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Records don't say if it took him 42 Days to draft his Report, but, at least, he knew why...

Polls

2009 EU Elections were won by Parties against Technocracy and Turkey's controversial EU bid, while the 1999-2004 Majority Abstention trend decelerated. What should be done in 2009-2014 ?

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