European liberals regret Cyprus court verdict which could undermine democracy
The ALDE Party regrets this week’s verdict from a Cyprus court, which ruled against the demand of Praxoula Antoniadou Kyriakou - the leader of ALDE Party member United Democrats and the party's candidate in last year's Presidential elections - to obtain coverage on the state television channel CYBC during last year's Presidential elections.
CYBC (“RIK” in Greek) refused coverage on the ground that the candidate didn’t fulfil the criteria of the law. The Cyprus law stipulates that the candidate either has to be the leader of a political party, or be supported by a political party or be a person who has significantly contributed to the political or economic life of the country.
During the court examination, the United Democrats proved that they fulfil all criteria demanded by RIK. Monday’s verdict that the elections are over and that hence there was no objective to be addressed and that hence the law suit was declined, raises the question whether the functioning of democracy in Cyprus is not compromised. In any European democracy, elections take place at regular interval. Does it mean that the United Democrats will have to go to Court again to ensure coverage for the upcoming European elections, or any future elections?
ALDE Party President Sir Graham Watson MEP raised this question already last year in the European Parliament when he said to then President Christofias: "We are deeply concerned about discrimination by your broadcasters, especially CYBC, against our candidate in your presidential election.” He continued:”we hope that your experience of seeing how other member states function will inspire the domestic reforms which will make your country a well-functioning modern democracy.”