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NEW REFERENDUM

Propose and discuss specific solutions to aspects of the Cyprus Problem

Would a New Referendum be Wellcome?

YES
9
50%
NO
9
50%
DON'T KNOW
0
No votes
 
Total votes : 18

Postby erolz » Mon Aug 09, 2004 2:08 am

Piratis wrote:
erolz wrote:So you DO agree that on certain issue and to a certain degree the TC SHOULD have political equlity with GC!


Of course. I wrote this several times, but it is not possible to repeat my whole position every time.


I have read your posts from when I joined the forum and not before. From what I have seen there is a fundamental contradiction in what you are saying. You say things like

Piratis wrote: You are 18% (now actually 12%), say you want 19% of power, fine, 20%? ok, 25%? We can talk about it ... but 50%??? Thats outrageous!


and

Piratis wrote:
The fact is that an 18% of anything is a minority. Thats simple maths. Its a paradox to claim otherwise.


and then you also say you agree that a TC numerical minority SHOULD have sufficent political equality to allow them to block the will of a GC majority on certain issues (like offical language of the RoC for one example).

Can you not see why your position seems inconsistent? On the one hand you insist that any political representation beyond strict numerical numbers is unfair, unjust, undemocratic and unstable and on the other hand you agree TC should have and need political equality such that they can block the will of a numerical GC majority on certain issues? I am confused now. Surely if there is a fundamental absoloute requirment for representation equal only to numbers then if a numerical majority wanted to make Greek the only offical language in the RoC, to stop them from doing so is unfair, paradoxical and outrageous?

Piratis wrote:
Have a look here for what I said a month before the referendum and I continue to support:
http://www.cyprus-forum.com/cyprus211.html


I have now read that link and what sticks out to me is

Piratis wrote: Critical matters will require not only a simple majority, but also separate majorities from each state.


So the principal of political representation / equality not being directly related to numerical numbers is acceptable to you? Even though you have also stated that it is not acceptable to you and suggested such an idea is 'outrageous' and 'paradoxical'?

Piratis wrote:
Some things that I also said but not included in that thread is that the land under TC administration should be around 24-25%.

The "specific ratio" I mention in that thread should be about 20% TCs things like central government positions, central police etc. and 25% TCs for ministers and other very high positions in the central government.


Yet in certain 'crtitical' matters TC should have equality, 50%, in the form of an ability to block the will of a GC majority?

Piratis wrote:From what you say it seems that you got a very wrong impression about my beliefs. All I am asking for is to live a normal democratic country like any other in the EU. I do not want to oppress or to change your community.


I am very confused as to what your position is on TC having some degree of political equality and representation in a united Cyprus. In some posts you are opposed to this and see the very concept as fundamentaly unfair, outrageous etc etc. In others you seem to accept it. I am just confused.
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Postby Piratis » Mon Aug 09, 2004 3:28 am

Can you not see why your position seems inconsistent? On the one hand you insist that any political representation beyond strict numerical numbers is unfair, unjust, undemocratic and unstable and on the other hand you agree TC should have and need political equality such that they can block the will of a numerical GC majority on certain issues?

No there is no inconsistency.
To make it clear for you I have to explain:
1) "certain issues" VS "everything".
2)"Ideal" VS "compromise to something acceptable".

Lets take the second one first :shock:

What can be confusing is that at some points I try to explain the real pure meaning of things like democracy, independence etc. This real meaning of things is usually the ideal for me also.
For example if I was the one to decide what the system in Cyprus would be, I would create a unitary system, where all are Cypriots and what race or religion or color or whatever you have does not matter.
But I am not the one who decides, so I ask myself: "ok, I can't have the best, whats the least I can accept that will still create an OK country for us and the future generations?". And the answer is the post of which a link I gave above. I am sure if you ask the same question yourself, you will see that we would meet at the same point. What I propose there maybe is not the ideal for you. But it is not ideal for me either. But is it acceptable? For me it is. I believe it should be acceptable for anybody that truly wants a truly United Cyprus (and not a disguised partition as the Annan plan was).

The first point now: "certain issues" VS "everything".
Yes, TCs can have a veto power on certain issues. The main one is the change of constitution. In the constitution it will be written everything that will protect you from what you are afraid that the evil GCs will do to you.
For example you said something about language and education. In the constitution it will be written that both Greek and Turkish are official languages. It will be written that the education is responsibility of each state separately etc. The only way to make a change to this things is if both GCs and TCs agree. Even if the 100% of GCs want to make a change, if the 50%+ of TCs do not then the change can not be done.

Now an example where you can not veto. Say scientists believe there is oil in the sea north of Cyprus and we want to fund an operation to get it. Now say the same oil deposits go as far as south sea of Turkey (so us and Turkey would be pumping from the same deposits) and Turkey convinces TCs to veto the funding of this operation by Cyprus. TCs do not want to compete with their motherland and they are convinced that they should veto this action. But no, this is not one of the certain issues of great importance that TCs can have a veto, and therefore the operation is funded even if TCs do not want to.
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Postby erolz » Mon Aug 09, 2004 4:23 am

Piratis wrote: No there is no inconsistency.


Well you position is now clearer to me and I think we are no so far apart. If you accept that the 'ideal' of 'pure' democracy is not a non negotiable postion for a united Cyprus and that a TC numerical minority would and should have political equality on certain issue, then yes our positions are very close. This did not seem to be the case when you were presenting your views on a 'pure' democracy. For my part I have never argued that a TC numerical minority should have political equality on ALL issues.

I would have to say, in all honesty, that I still have some concerns that 'you' (plural) might now say a 'pure' democracy is not funadmental requirment for a fair settlement and then having 'secured' a settlement on this basis decide that actualy it is not fair for a TC numercial minority to have ANY political equality and seek to change this agreement, based on your ideals of a 'pure' democracy. I have these concerns because of what happened to the original 1960s constitution.
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Postby MicAtCyp » Mon Aug 09, 2004 1:24 pm

I also would never accept a solution that would not be unfair and violating the rights of the TCs, and in which there will be no guarantees in the constitution for their fears and concerns. Of course there must be time before voting so they can explain to me (in case I don't already know) the points they consider unfair, so that I support them in their efforts to change them. We the Gcs had no time to explain anything to anyone about the Anan plan other that just a few days....
About the language Insan can confirm that I supported countless of times in other forums that the Turkish Language must be put in all GC schools and the Greek Language in all TC schools. And than no Government employee should be accepted unless he passes some sort of exams in it. So eventually ALL Cypriots could speak and understand both official languages of the state.
How about you Erol, so far you did not even learn the Turkish language, when do you think you should get started? ( I am just teasing you Erol, I know your personal difficulty regarding this issue)
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Postby erolz » Mon Aug 09, 2004 2:21 pm

MicAtCyp wrote: About the language Insan can confirm that I supported countless of times in other forums that the Turkish Language must be put in all GC schools and the Greek Language in all TC schools.


The issue was not (at least as saw it) about languages taught, but about the need for some degree of political equality between the two communites so that such agreements (like on offical languages) can not just be chhanged by a GC numerical majority against the will and favour of a TC numerical minority after an agreement is made - hence the need for some form of political equality.

MicAtCyp wrote:How about you Erol, so far you did not even learn the Turkish language, when do you think you should get started? ( I am just teasing you Erol, I know your personal difficulty regarding this issue)


yavas, yavas :)
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Postby MicAtCyp » Tue Aug 10, 2004 11:57 am

Erol wrote: I have these concerns because of what happened to the original 1960s constitution


The 1960 constitution had many poblems one of which was the unrestricted veto.The Vice president could use veto on one issue to demand satisfaction on another.For example he could veto the budgets to get municipality rights.

I think no veto is needed in United Cyprus.The specific concerns and fears of the TCs must be written in the constitution and new ones can be added from now and then if both communities agree.And there must be also matters concerning the fears of the GCs as well! Any action against those concerns would be void and unconstitutional anyway.Instead of Veto I sugest a "hold on" power that not only the TCs would have but the GCs as well. Because it may not be clear if a certain action is unconstitutional or not. The "hold on" would enable the Supreme court decide in case of doubt.
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Postby erolz » Tue Aug 10, 2004 5:36 pm

MicAtCyp wrote:
The 1960 constitution had many poblems one of which was the unrestricted veto.The Vice president could use veto on one issue to demand satisfaction on another.For example he could veto the budgets to get municipality rights.


Unrestricted veto?

The London Zurich agreements contained this

"8. The President and the Vice-President, separately and conjointly, shall have the right of final veto on any law or decision concerning foreign affairs except the participation of the Republic of Cyprus in international organisations and pacts of alliance in which Greece and Turkey both participate, or concerning defence and security as defined in Annex 1."

Absoloute veto was only in regard to foreign affairs - not internal.

Or perhaps you refer to this?

"5. Executive authority shall be vested in the President and the Vice- President. For this purpose they shall have a Council of Ministers composed of seven Greek Ministers and three Turkish Ministers. The Ministers shall be designated respectively by the President and the Vice-President who shall appoint them by an instrument signed by them both. The Ministers may be chosen from outside the House of Representatives. Decisions of the Council of Ministers shall be taken by an absolute majority. Decisions so taken shall be promulgated immediately by the President and the Vice-President by publication in the official gazette. However, the President and the Vice-President shall have the right of final veto and the right to return the decisions of the Council of Ministers under the same conditions as those laid down for laws and decisions of the House of Representatives."

So there is a right to veto 'under the same conditions as those laid down for laws and decsions of the house of representatives' which are below

"7. Laws and decisions of the House of Representatives shall be adopted by a simple majority of the members present. They shall be promulgated within 15 days if neither the President nor the Vice-President returns them for reconsideration as provided in Point 9 below. The constitutional Law, with the exception of its basic articles, may be modified by a majority comprising two-thirds of the Greek members and two-thirds of the Turkish members of the House of Representatives. Any modification of the electoral law and the adoption of any law relating to the municipalities and of any law imposing duties or taxes shall require a simple majority of the Greek and Turkish members of the House of Representatives taking part in the vote and considered separately. On the adoption of the budget, the President and the Vice-President may exercise their right to return it to the House of Representatives, if in their judgment any question of discrimination arises. If the House maintains its decisions, the President and the Vice-President shall have the right of appeal to the Supreme Constitutional Court."

So there was no absoloute right to veto, except for foreign affairs. There was a right to return decision to the house and if the house still upheld them then the supreme court could be asked to decide. This is actualy what happened on the issue of seperate municipalites. The court decided and Makrios decided to ignore the courts ruling because it did not suit him!

MicAtCyp wrote:
I think no veto is needed in United Cyprus.The specific concerns and fears of the TCs must be written in the constitution and new ones can be added from now and then if both communities agree.And there must be also matters concerning the fears of the GCs as well! Any action against those concerns would be void and unconstitutional anyway.Instead of Veto I sugest a "hold on" power that not only the TCs would have but the GCs as well. Because it may not be clear if a certain action is unconstitutional or not. The "hold on" would enable the Supreme court decide in case of doubt.


Well you seem to have misunderstood the original right to veto in the 1960s agreements. It only existed in foreign affairs. Other than this there was only a right to 'return' decision which if there was deadlock could then be refered to supreme court. That is not a right of veto, like the one on foreign affairs. It is more a right to force and independent (judical) view on an issue. It is certainly NOT an 'unrestricted veto' right that you seem to think existed?
The idea of disputes being resolved by the supreme court is all well and good in theory. However the experience of the practice in historical terms is somewhat less than idea. The issue of seperate municipalites, which was agreed to in the consitution and actualy insisted on by Makarios then, was refered to the supreme court. Makarios just ignored the ruling which led to the resignation of the independent (non cypriot) head of the supreme court!
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Postby Piratis » Tue Aug 10, 2004 6:27 pm

Unrestricted veto?


I believe MicAtCyp answered this question already:
The Vice president could use veto on one issue to demand satisfaction on another


Also, quoting from http://countrystudies.us/cyprus/53.htm :
Still another issue that provoked strong Greek Cypriot criticism was the right of the veto held by the Turkish Cypriot vice president and what amounted to final veto power held by the Turkish Cypriot representatives in the House of Representatives with respect to laws and decisions affecting the entire population. Turkish Cypriot representatives had exercised this veto power with respect to income tax legislation, seriously limiting government revenues.
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Postby erolz » Tue Aug 10, 2004 6:51 pm

Piratis wrote:

Also, quoting from http://countrystudies.us/cyprus/53.htm :
Still another issue that provoked strong Greek Cypriot criticism was the right of the veto held by the Turkish Cypriot vice president and what amounted to final veto power held by the Turkish Cypriot representatives in the House of Representatives with respect to laws and decisions affecting the entire population. Turkish Cypriot representatives had exercised this veto power with respect to income tax legislation, seriously limiting government revenues.


and as I understand it on issues such as these (unlike issue of foreign policy) they could have been refered to the supreme court which could overrule any veto made (again unilke on issues of foreign policy). The fact that Markarios / GC did not insit that they be refered to the supreme court was not the fault of TC. When an issue was refered to supreme court (seperate municipalites) Markarios ignored the courts decision.

If the right of veto was 'total' why the necesseity for a seperate section of the agreements that deals with the specific case of foreign policy issues? The reason for a seperate article is that the nature of these vetos were different. One was absoloute (on foreign policy issues) and one was not - it could be reversed by a supreme court decision.
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