Intensified Talks Meeting Postponed - UNFICYP
A meeting between President Christofias and Dervis Eroglu scheduled for August 5th has been postponed on the request of the Greek-Cypriot negotiating team amid expectations that a new Cabinet will be announced either today or early tomorrow morning.
The United Nations and Turkish-Cypriot negotiating team have agreed to this request and the meeting will be rescheduled for after the two-week break, said an UNFICYP spokesman.
Yesterday, coalition partner DIKO left the partnership with AKEL after three-and-a-half years, and pressure is mounting on the president to appoint a new Cabinet after he asked for current ministers to resign a week ago.
The government split after DIKO ministers resigned on the basis that economic austerity measures have been delayed too long. In addition, DIKO President Marios Garoyian said that the coalition was breaking up because there are significant differences with the president over Cyprus reunification talks. DIKO has demanded that the president withdraw a proposal for a rotating presidency and citizenship for 50,000 Turkish settlers.
A public outcry over the deadly explosion at the Mari naval base has cut deeply into the president's support. In the latest development, a petition was sent today to Attorney-general Petros Clerides demanding a criminal investigation into the president's role in the tragic accident which killed 13 men on July 11th.
The current circumstances have thrown the future of reunification talks into doubt. The president's credibility is in tatters and protests against him are continuing into their third week after the blast at Evangelos Florakis base. As things stand today, opposition parties control Parliament and most of their members disagree with the president's positions on reunification. Ruling party AKEL appears to the only group which supports the president, but their influence would not be enough to get general approval for a reunification plan based on Christofias' negotiations.
Intensified talks began shortly after the accident with the aim of completing a reunification plan and submitting it to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon by October.