Aglandjia residents on Thursday demanded they be included in a new Athalassa municipality together with Latsia and Yeri as they protested against the newly approved local government reform plan which includes them in Nicosia municipality.

Dozens of Aglandjia residents gathered outside parliament in the afternoon to protest them being grouped together with Ayios Dhometios and Engomi under a new metropolitan Nicosia municipality.

Demonstrators held signs condemning the new arrangement, with some reading “Nicosia unites us not” and “What do we have to do with Engomi?”.

They also submitted a relevant resolution to the chairman of the House interior committee, Akel MP Aristos Damianou.

The protest was supported by the Aglandjia municipal council who on Wednesday announced it supports the position of the residents who disagree with the decision to incorporate the municipality into Nicosia.

The decision “does not take into account the will of the residents of Aglandjia and the unanimous decision of the municipal council”, the municipality wrote on social media.

“The council reserves the right to announce soon its next actions and the escalation of measures to meet its request.”

The protest was organised by a social media group demanding the creation of a new Athalassa municipality, which, according to them, is also the demand of 76 per cent of Aglandjia residents according to a survey conducted by Pulse.

Such a municipality would unite Agalndjia, Latsia, and Yeri.

The Athalassa municipality NOW initiative aims to make a municipality of Athalassa an ecological model, with a common commitment to protect the historical, cultural and social identity of the area. In terms of financial management, the group said Athalassa would continue to operate prudently, serve residents promptly and provide protection from the possibility of unequal taxation.

Under the current arrangement passed by the House last week, Nicosia district has been clustered into five municipalities which are Nicosia (Ayios Dometios, Engomi and Aglandjia); Lakatamia (Lakatamia and Tseri plus Anthoupoli); Latsia-Yeri; South Nicosia-Dali; and Strovolos, which stays intact in its present form.

But the Nicosia residents are not the only ones enraged by the municipal reform, expected to come into force in 2024.

Akamas communities also condemned the arrangement, which splits them between different municipalities in what they see as an attempt to weaken them ahead of the introduction of a management plan for the peninsula.