Dherynia mayor Andros Karayian has expressed disappointment that President Nicos Anastasiades did not challenge the section regarding his municipality when he sent back to parliament the part in a newly approved local government reform law that refers to Akamas.
His objections were made public on Thursday, as the House plenary prepares to vote on the president’s challenge later on Thursday.
The outcome is uncertain amid reports that political parties face internal dissension on whether the Laona communities in the Akamas should be under a single ‘administration’ as proposed by the government or three, as amended in parliament after years of discussion and behind-the-scenes haggling.
If parliament rejects the president’s challenge, Anastasiades could either accept the decision or refer the issue to the Supreme Court for a final verdict, something which would lead to further delays to local government reform.
In a letter to the president dated April 5 and made public on the Cyprus News Agency on Thursday, Karayiannis said that Dherynia – which will be part of a newly established municipality with Paralimni, Frenaros and Acheritou — was disappointed that its concerns had not been taken into consideration, despite numerous letters to the current and previous interior ministers.
The municipality, despite its proximity to the ceasefire line and the occupied town of Famagusta, has managed to promote agriculture, environmental and bicommunal action, within and close to the buffer zone.
“Unfortunately, these special circumstances, sensitivities and needs were not heeded,” he added. As a result, Dherynia, close to the buffer zone is converted into an municipal district, while another municipality close to the buffer zone with the same characteristics as Dherynia but with a smaller population remains an entity and is reinforced with a small community.
And he queried whether the motives for local government reform were not improving the quality of life of residents but was dictated by party politics.
He urged the president to re-examine the issue of Dherynia which he said was a natural extension of the occupied town of Famagusta, which keeps the flame of return alive.