By Kyriacos Kyriacou- Nicosia
An important decision for the Turkish Cypriot citizens of the Republic of Cyprus was taken by the island’s Council of Ministers. It approved an amendment to the law for the automatic registration in the special election registry of all citizens of the Republic of Cyprus, including Turkish Cypriots living in the Turkish-occupied areas of the Republic, who have the right to vote and are holders of an ID issued by the Republic. The decision will allow Turkish Cypriots to vote for the first time in the forthcoming Euroelections, in May.
“The Cabinet’s decision has to do with the equal participation of Turkish Cypriots in the upcoming European Parliament elections”, a government spokesman said. Furthermore, the Council of Ministers approved an amendment to the Civil Registry law, providing for the automatic registration of all those who acquire the right to vote.
Meantime, the National, the top advisory body to the President on the handling of the Cyprus problem, convenes today under President Nicos Anastasiades to discuss developments in the Cyprus issue and the efforts to embark on a dialogue with the Turkish Cypriot side in view of finding a solution for the reunification of the divided island, since the Turkish invasion in 1974.
United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has recently expressed disappointment over the lack of progress in the Cyprus peace process and called for agreement on a joint declaration to jump-start stalled talks the soonest. The members of the Council were briefed on Wednesday on developments in the Cyprus issue, during informal consultations, by the UN Secretary General`s Special Representative in Cyprus Lisa Buttenheim and the UN Secretary General`s Special Adviser on Cyprus Alexander Downer.
According to sources, Downer was cautious in his briefing to the UN concerning what has happened since the bailout debacle last March. He particulary referred on the island and the impact on the lives of Cypriots, and the priorities of the Cypriot government and President Anastasiades.
Earlier in the month, an annoyed Downer allegedly postponed his visit to the island because of insulting words against him by Anastasiades, who publicly accused the Australian diplomat of “lacking objectivity”. Downer only met with the appointed negotiators of the two sides and not the leaders as scheduled in his last visit to Cyprus, before the United Nations Security Council briefing.