July 24, 2015
By Andreas C. Chrysafis
There is not much hope for the people of Cyprus to live and let live in a democratic state that shines with equality, transparency and accountability; for there is flawed democracy at that; a nation that does not practice transparency, it has no democracy!
The current negotiations on the Bi-zonal Bi-communal Federation (BBF) have been quite remarkable to say the least. The talks are shrouded in secrecy and the general public is kept in the dark. After months of “negotiations” and bragging that a solution is near, the public knows nothing about what is being discussed and agreed on in their behalf. In fact, they have absolutely no idea what’s going to happen to their lives and the country.
Yet, the President holds press conferences and grumbles publicly for being criticized and insists that the country should trust his better judgment. Why? Is he so much smarter and wiser than the rest of the nation? The political parties and the media also seem to be colluding and have their lips sealed; they reveal nothing.
If the President expects citizens to trust him and respect his judgment, then under the same premise he should also trust citizens and keep them well-informed so they can make well-informed decisions. They will then tell him what to do and not the other way around! Trust does not come automatically with the office but like dignity and respect, it is earned to meet the demands of the highest office in the land.
It is not a matter of trust but a matter of peoples’ democratic right enshrined into the Constitution. Direct democracy demands that citizens have the right to publicly debate constitutional changes with openness, free from political spin and propaganda. The entire country knows very well of bad decisions of the past – like the Troika’s bail-in criminality that has brought disaster and poverty to a proud nation.
We can only hope that a referendum on the BBF agreement is not abandoned for EU and political convenience, and allow politicians to decide the fate of Cyprus and not the electorate. If that’s under some devious consideration, it’s a bad move with unforeseen consequences in the future. Time will tell.
Andreas C Chrysafis