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Media Watch 2003

26 September 2003
Source: Cyprus Weekly
Author: Philippos Stylianou
Comment: The following article appeared in the Cyprus Weekly of Nicosia on 26 September 2003.
Government rules out observers for north elections


THE Government has firmly ruled out the monitoring of the pseudostate’s December elections by observers from foreign governments or international organisations.

However, although it disagrees also with the use of unofficial observers, it admits it has no way of stopping them.

This is the picture that emerges from statements President Papadopoulos made in New York and from explanations given yesterday by the Government Spokesman in Nicosia.

Speaking to the CNA after his meeting with US Special Coordinator for Cyprus on Wednesday, President Papadopoulos noted that “it is generally accepted that the dispatch of government representatives as observers is out of the question.” 

He added that “ what is discussed is whether this task can also be fulfilled by journalists, or diplomatic staff or other observers.” 

The president explained that government consent was not necessary for the latter.

Government Spokesman Kypros Chrysotomides reiterated at yesterday’s press briefing that the Government would not consent to any monitoring by states or international organisations but the question remained open of certain people being interested in somehow sending observers.

“There is a disagreement here, though I believe it will not develop into a major issue worthy of being debated, since the voting is already rigged on account of thousands of settlers having been included in the electoral lists,” Chrysostomides said.

British

Asked to say who these circles were and how they proposed to act, the Spokesman said that the Government had no details, and added: “What I know is that it is being discussed in various circles. May I remind you of the statements by British High Commissioner Lyn Parker in favour of the observers, the references made by US Special Cyprus Coordinator Thomas Weston, and the debate caused in Cyprus on the issue of having or not having observers for the voting in the occupied areas.”

There were reports that US representatives had discussed the issue of observers of the Turkish Cypriot elections with the EU troika on September 15 in Brussels, but the Government Spokesman, when asked, said they had no information on this.

EU Ambassador to Cyprus Adriaan van der Meer repeated that it was very unlikely the EU would send observers to the occupied areas in the normal way,” adding that the Community was following developments.

The Government has rejected official monitoring of the elections in the north, as it believes this would be tantamount to recognising the pseudosate. It has also argued that any monitoring would be pointless, since the result has already been falsified by the inclusion of thousands of Turkish settlers in the electoral lists. 

President Papadopoulos said he could see a point in monitoring the elections if the observers were empowered to check the electoral lists and ban the settlers from voting.

While government coalition parties have strongly supported the government’s position, opposition Disy held the view that the monitoring could be done by non-governmental organisations, provided they did not accept the terms laid down by the occupation regime.

Invitation

Occupation leader Rauf Denktash said that anyone coming to monitor the elections, could only do so at the invitation of his “state.” 

He also said that if the result of the elections returned his regime to power, then the observers should declare that they recognised the Turkish Cypriot “state.” 

Turkish Cypriot politician Alpay Durduran also wondered what the job of the observers would be and if they could monitor the settlers. Speaking after a meeting this week with Akel, Durduran said that the enrolment of settlers on the electoral lists was continuing, while money was also used to buy voters for the pro-Denktash parties.

The Turkish Cypriot opposition daily 'Yeni Duzen' reported that the National Unity Party and the Democratic Party, which support Denktash, have secretly granted so-called citizenship to another 299 persons, making them eligible to vote. The paper said Defne Samyeli, a beauty contest winner and television presenter, was on the list."