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7 December 2015, Monday
08:50
Anastasiades: "May elections could be postponed"
Briefing the National Council on Saturday, President Nicos Anastasiades did not rule out the possibility of postponing the May parliamentary elections if necessary for “two to three months.” “Be ready, for such a possibility,” Anastasiades told members of the Council.

Presiding over a meeting of the island’s top advisory political body, the National Council, Anastasiades briefed all political party leaders and former Presidents on developments in the UN-backed Cyprus reunification talks as well as on the outcomes of recent visits paid to Cyprus by the British, Russian and US Foreign Ministers, French President François Hollande Friday and British Defence Minister Michael Fallon.

Phileleftheros daily reported on Sunday that with regard to the Cyprus issue the President said that the process is progressing and that there has been an understanding, though not yet an agreement or convergence, on a series of issues, such as the four freedoms, the implementation of the acquis communautaire, and participation in the public service (67% -33%).

In relation to the demographic issue, Anastasiades said that currently Greek Cypriots number 800,000, with the population in the north officially counted at 220,000. The current ratio will be maintained, the President said, with the 4:1 ratio to be applied in the future. This, he said, would be reviewed every 25 years.

He also said that Turkish Cypriot side understands that the 1960s guarantees cannot remain, and any guarantees cannot be of a military nature.

Issues for which there are still disputes are the rotating presidency and the Flight Information Region (FIR), with the Turkish Cypriots wishing to have two control towers. The Turkish Cypriot side also proposes to keep control of the European Affairs Ministry indefinitely.

The goal is not to have a transitional period, Anastasiades said, so efforts are being made for things to be operational from day one, or at least within the first three months.

Upon final agreement, Anastasiades said, Famagusta should immediately be handed over to its lawful inhabitants and a large part of the occupation army should be ready to leave.

The President further said he is planning to pursue the territorial issue in December, with a focus on the special status areas.

Meanwhile, International Monetary Fund (IMF) representatives will be in Cyprus from December 10 to 18 December to examine issues related to the economy following a Cyprus settlement. These issues will also be on the agenda during the U.S. Finance Minister’s visit to Cyprus on December 17-18.

Deputy government spokesman Victor Papadopoulos did not rule out the possibility of the National Council convening again before Christmas.



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