Cyprus Mail

President seeks confidentiality clause for national council meetings

EDEK chairman Marinos Sizopoulos

President Nicos Anastasiades wants parties to agree to a confidentiality clause as part of the National Council’s operation, a proposal made after a party leader leaked the confidential minutes of two meetings earlier this year.

Anastasiades’ proposal includes a confidentiality clause, allowing the members of the council to only disclose their own positions and not those submitted by other members.

Reports said the proposal was delivered to parties at around 2pm.

According to the proposal, all eight parties represented in parliament would take part in the meetings but only with one member and not two as was the practice to date.

Meetings will have a specific agenda in a bid to make it more productive.

Government spokesman Nicos Christodoulides said discussion almost always went off the subject and participants ended up mainly talking about the basis of a solution.

The council’s operation was questioned earlier this year after EDEK chairman Marinos Sizopoulos made public the confidential minutes of two meetings, saying the public had a right to the truth as regards reunification negotiations.

The move prompted Anastasiades to rethink a promise to allow documents from the talks to be circulated at meetings and in the meantime said he would brief party leaders separately.

He said he would inform party leaders of his decisions on the matter right after the May 22 parliamentary elections.

Commenting on the matter before receiving the proposal, AKEL leader Andros Kyprianou said such issues could not be resolved through ultimatums.

In the past, he said, ways for the smooth operation of the council were discussed between the president and the parties.

“Now it seems, at least from what we’ve heard so far, the president has taken the decisions and he is sending them to the political parties in the form of an ultimatum,” Kyprianou said. “I think this is very wrong and allow me to say it is an autocratic way of approaching a very important matter.”

On Saturday, Sizopoulos described the president’s proposal for an honour protocol as a “bad political joke”.

The EDEK chairman suggested Anastasiades could not set such a condition when he failed to keep numerous verbal and written pledges, and disrespected the people’s verdict in the 2004 referendum on a UN reunification blueprint, reporting his country to the EU.

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