[fyeg_gen-l] Cyprus: Greens and New Horizons first to come out with emphatic 'no'

F A B I O C C H I:: eco_fabiocchi at tin.it
Tue Apr 6 18:27:47 CEST 2004

Greens and New Horizons first to come out with emphatic 'no' 
By Staff Reporter

THE Greens and the New Horizons parties have both said 'no' to the Annan plan, arguing that its widespread rejection in the referendum will boost the President's bargaining power in efforts to achieve a viable and workable solution.

Both parties held extraordinary congresses over the weekend to decide their stance on the UN-backed plan. On Saturday, the New Horizons - staunch opponents of the plan - decided unanimously against. 

Speaking at the vote, party chairman Nikos Koutsou said the plan was racist, violated human rights and contradicted fundamental European principles. He went on to urge people to reject the plan in the April 24 referendum, saying this would help President Papadopoulos in future efforts to achieve a workable settlement within the EU framework.

New Horizons deny they are rejectionists, arguing that they oppose the plan that is on the table now; they say Cyprus should wait until after its full accession to the EU.

The Greens, meanwhile, voted 87.5 per cent against the plan at their extraordinary congress on Sunday. "From now on, the party's official stance is a 'no'," read an announcement issued shortly after. Chairman George Perdikis said the Annan plan would lead to an unworkable state, adding that Turkey would maintain its guarantor power status on the island.

Although none of the two parties have officially launched a 'no' campaign, they both participated in a rally against the Annan plan held on Saturday night at Nicosia's Eleftheria Square. Keynote speakers included EDEK honorary chairman Vassos Lyssarides, DIKO deputies and Church leaders.

An estimated 10,000 people took part in the event, although press reports commented the turnout was lower than expected.

Communist AKEL and rightwing DISY, the two largest parties, have both said they will make their final decision next week, on Wednesday and Thursday respectively.

Copyright © Cyprus Mail 2004
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