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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

cy_elec_2016_results_e_focus_400 

*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.
daul__neofytou


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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 politkovskaya_gongadze_adali_400

Hu Jia's prize brings SAKHAROV's wife to "EuroFora" on murders of Journalists Politkofskaya, Gongadze and Adali :

- Elena Bonner : "All Journalists' murders must be fully investigated", without Double Standards.                                                                                    

During a special Mega-Event to celebrate 20 Years of SAKHAROV Prize for "Freedom of Thought", attributed in 2008 by EU Parliament to jailed Chinese Cyber-Dissident Hu JIA, the move was reinforced by strongly criticizing the persisting impunity in three cases of Journalists' Murders, such as POLITKOVSKAYA in Russia, GONGADZE in Ukraine, and ADALI in Turkish-occupied part of Cyprus.

Any bureaucratic doubt about whether Cyber-dissidents like Hu JIA might have, or not, a right to be protected as all Journalists must be, particularly when they take risks to search, find and publish original and critical News on issues of general interest to the society, could not resist to the emotion provoked by the message of his Wife, Zeng JINYAN spectacularly transmitted at a big screen in EU Parliament's hemicycle :

- "The most important and most interesting thing he did was to ... say the Truth :.. to write about the phenomena he observed... He never stopped Publishing.. on websites, so that the Public could learn about the reality .. and understand it.  In my view, this has been his greatest contribution", stressed the young wife of the jailed man, eager to cite also the cases of other critical journalists who faced various kinds of "harassment".

 - "Welcoming all those who have suffered for defending Human Rights", EU Parliament's President, German MEP Hans Gert POETTERING, who had invited to Strasbourg all former Sakharov prize-winners from various Countries throughout the World, said that "China needs Europe, and Europe needs China : A great nation" with which "we want to have a good relationship", "association and ..friendship". "But we are never going to stop our fight for Human Rights, and No Government can expect this from us".

    - "It's impossible  to achieve goals of Peace, if Human Rights are left out. In fact, Peace and Human Rights are intrinsequaly linked", added POETTERING.

    It's in this spirit that MEPs adopted, on Thursday, a Resolution denouncing that "the criminal
investigation and trial following the murder of (a) Journalist ...raises serious concerns with regard to transparency and respect for the rule of law", when a "brutal killing has not yet been fully investigated and solved in a satisfactory way".

    The text refered to dissident Journalist "Anna POLITOVSKAYA", a critic of Tchechen conflict, killed some years ago in Moscow, where Russian Authorities have found, arrested and are currently judging two executants, while also searching to arrest also a 3rd one, allegedly escaped in Belgium. But they have not yet found the instigators.

     Similar texts were adopted recently also on dissident Ukranian Journalist Georgiy GONGADZE's murder, for which Ukranian Authorities have at least found, arrested and condemned 2 executants to 12 and 13 Years of jail, but not yet the instigators. For that purpose, they recently accepted an International Experts team to participate to the investigations.     

But, it's only for the Murder of dissident Turkish Cypriot Journalist ADALI, in the occupied territories of Cyprus, that Turkey has NOT yet found ANYONE responsible, and even claimed recently inside CoE that it would be "impossible" to do so !    

These astonishing differences exist despite the fact that ECHR condemned alike Ukraine and Turkey with 2 Judgements on the same year : 2005, for the murders of  Journalists GONGADZE and ADALI, strong critics of Corruption in Ukraine, and of Ankara's policies on mass-influx of Turkish Settlers in the Occupied Territories of Cyprus, respectively.    

Regarless of that, CoE's Committee of Ministers, who is entrusted with the duty to supervise execution of ECHR's judgements, has just asked Ukraine's Government to reply to further questions on Gongadze's murder before March 2009, while Turkey, curiously, got a longer postponement for answering questions on Adali's murder, until June...   

A comparison of these cases, raises serious questions about Double Standards :

------------------------

On TRANSPARENCY :
--------------------------
    On Gongadze's murder, CoE's body speaks even about the participation of
"an INTERNATIONAL group of Experts" in the Investigation, (f.ex. of "Tape Recordings"), accepted by Ukraine.
    On the contrary, on Adali's murder, CoE is obliged to repeatedly ask (for a 2nd
time) Turkey whether, at least, it informed the victims' Family, or not...
------------------------------
- On EFFICIENCY :
-----------------------
On Gongadze's murder, CoE formally "recalls that the Committee (of Ministers) ..URGED the Ukranian authorities.. to TAKE ALL NECESSARY INVESTIGATIVE STEPS TO ACHIEVE CONCRETE and VISIBLE RESULTS in the INVESTIGATION, aimed at the Identification of the INSTIGATORS and Organisers of the Murder", and "STRONGLY INVITED the Ukranian Authorities to provide information on the PROGRESS IN THE INVESTIGATION", before MARCH 2009.

But, on Adali's murder, on the contrary, CoE's body merely .. "took note" of the "arguments presented by" Cyprus, which denounce the absence of any proof of new "investigation" by Turkey. Following Turkey's own suggestion (!), it simply "noted" that there is "no limitation period" for "any new element" to "lead potentialy (sic !) to a Re-Opening of the Investigation". Without saying who might find any such "new" fact, since Turkey stoped searching... It also POSTPONED the issue until .. JUNE  !
-----------------------
 - On the PUNISHMENT OF THOSE RESPONSIBLE :
----------------------
 -  On Gongadze's murder case, Ukranian Authorities already arrested and condemned, at least 2 suspects, to 12 and 13 Years of jail. And on Politkovskaya's murder at least 2 suspects are judged, and a 3rd one "wanted".

On the contrary, on Adali's murder case, the Turkish authorities simply claim that "it had not been possible to obtain new .. information .. on the basis of which criminal charges could be brought against ANY person" !...

Moreover,  a LETTER sent by Turkey ...2 Years after CoE's 2006 call to re-investigate anew Adali's murder case, is totally EMPTY of Facts ! As Cypus' Delegation denounced earlier, Turkey's Letter ONLY CLAIMS that a "New Investigation" was made without any result, but does NOT even cite ANY FACT to prove it :

F.ex.,on the crucial issue of the "MOTIVATIONS" behind Adali's murder, noted by ECHR, Turkey MERELY CLAIMS that "all allegations  were investigated; without result", but OMITS ANY FACT TO PROVE IT !..(It doesn't even remind which were these "allegations").. .

+ On ECHR's astonishment that the Turkish Occupation regime didn't produce any "BALLISTIC REPORT" on the Shots which murdered Adali, Turkey again repeats, 12 years later, that, still, even until now, "it  was not possible to obtain the BalisticReport"...

- As for the astonishing absence of key-WITNESSES' Testimonies, denounced by ECHR, Turkey agains repeats various pretexts avoiding to reveal anything, (Fex. that a person "left" the Occupied Territories  "on 2002", or that another witness was heard, but without revealing nothing of what he said, etc).

Turkey obviously "FAILS TO MEET THE CRITICISM made BY THE COURT" for lack of any efficient Investigation in Adali's case, concluded Cyprus' Government.
---------------------------------------------
Replying to our Question which COMPARED these 3 outstanding cases of "JOURNALISTS MURDERS", Adali, Gongadze and Politkovskaya, in order to avoid "Double Standards" by asking from Ukraine and Russia more than what is asked EU candidate Turkey, many European personalities were critical /

They criticised Ankara's recent claim at the CoE to stop investigating, because it would be "impossible to find anyone" responsible for the 5 bullet shots which killed Kutlu ADALI in front of his Family Home, contrary to the other two Journalists' murders, where Ukraine and Russia at least arrested the executants, searching now for the instigators :
----------------------------------

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    - "Where was that ? In Turkish Occupied Cyprus ? WITHOUT ANY DOUBT : Any murder of Journalist should be investigated in full ! All these Murders must be investigated !", replied the famous SAKHAROV's wife, Elena BONNER to our question on Adali's case, compared to Gongadze and Politofskaya.

    Elena Bonner spoke us EXCLUSIVELY shortly after being honored by the President
of EU Parliament on the occasion of 20 Years of her husband's SAKHAROV Prize.

    A strong personality, Sakharov's wife even had to struggle against an anonymous EU staffer who, astonishingly, tried to stop her speaking when h heard our question on "Turkey" (!) : - "Please, let me translate, she continues
speaking, don't stop us !", had to cry Sakharov's daughter, (a Journalist
herself), who was translating her mothers' reply, (obliged to speak louder to
make her voice heard despite the harassment).. (= + Audio Proof !)

    Earlier, Elena Bonner also fustigated "Double Standards" at another case, on
Western countries' attitude vis a vis Kosovo and the Kurds : -F.ex. "You have
recognized a few 400.000 Kosovars as an "independent" country, but you still
deny that to 30 millions of Kurds in Turkey !", she denounced.
-----------------------------
    - "This (ADALI's murder) is an issue which should be pursued by the Committee
for Human Rights. That's why we have one, and it's its duty to examine cases of
Journalists' murders as the one you referred to. You should bring the case in
front of that Committee", suggested in reply to our question on Adali, EU
Parliament's President, German MEP Hans Gert POETTERING.

    - "It's impossible  to achieve goals of PEACE, if HUMAN RIGHTS are left out :
in fact, Peace and Human Rights are intrinsequaly linked", added POETTERING.
--------------------------------------
    + "For us (European/International Federation of Journalists) it's clear :
Whenever a Journalist is Murdered, the Investigation should continue until
those Responsible are found !", replied earlier to another question on ADALI
EFJ/IFJ's Secretary General, Aidan WHITE.

    Speaking as a matter of General Principle, White asked us for "concrete data"
on the execution of ECHR's judgement on Adali case, in order to "look at it in
depth" and "make a formal statement", in comparison with the other Murdered
Journalist case, also pending at CoE's  Ministers for completing its execution,
on Ukranian Gongadze.
----------------------------------------------------
     From EU Rapporteur on Human Rights, vice-President of EU Parliament Liberties' Committee, MEP Giusto CATANIA, we were told that, since there is an ECHR judgement in both Adali and Gongadge's cases, "Turkey must naturally execute the judgement and make a full and efficient investigation, until those responsible for the Journalist's murder are found and punished".

    Even if "we (Catania's "EuroLeft" Group) support Turkey's EU perspectives, this does not mean that Ankara should not behave properly. On the contrary, it means that they have to meet tough conditions, particularly on Human Rights", was added on the occasion of Adali's murder case.

    Moreover, "since you raise the issue of Mr. Adali's muder as a part of a Series of Journalist's murders, including fex. Gongadze, Politkovskaya, ao., tthen we (EU) could also act together with CoE's Commissioner on Human Rights, Thomas HAMMARBERG, it was suggested.

    - "We (EU) must step up efforts against the problem of IMPUNITY : Real Peace cannot exist without Justice",  stressed also this week at EU Parliament in Strasbourg, French Minister on Human Rights, Mrs Rama YADE.
------------------------
                     

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