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Cyprus Internet Directory [ Party leader defends silence at election rally ]

Party leader defends silence at election rally

EUROPEAN PARTY leader Demetris Syllouris yesterday defended the low turnout for his party’s final rally before the Euro-elections saying that’s exactly how the way the party wanted it, nice and quiet.

The low turnout was highlighted by Politis yesterday which accused the state broadcaster, CyBC, of misleading the public. According to the paper, in its main evening news on Wednesday, CyBC covered the event at the Journalists’ Union, introducing it as the “final rally of the election committee”.

However, the paper questioned why it never showed any footage of the audience like it did at the rallies of the other parties. It highlighted that the cameras focused solely on Syllouris giving his speech, the hint being that the only way to show an audience would have been through computer-generated imagery. The paper claimed the only reason CyBC gave the “non-rally” airtime was because it was obliged to give equal time to all pre-election campaigns.

In response, the EVROKO leader accused the paper of bias. “It is a hostile paper towards us. You just need to read their articles on us the past year and you can see that. It’s their right to do that, it’s a democracy,” said Syllouris yesterday.

The party leader argued that the party’s big rally was held on Sunday, while the whole point of Wednesday’s events was for all the party leaders to have their 15 minutes on camera before the elections.

“We wanted to send the message, in a relaxed and clear manner. There were people at the rally, but we told them to come in and keep quiet. Our orders to them were not to create a fuss in front of the cameras. We didn’t want any fanfare because we wanted to get the message across clearly,” said Syllouris.

Head of the Journalists’ Union, Andreas Kannaouros, said he couldn’t say how many people turned up because he doesn’t attend every event.

“But I know from my technician that they had a big rally on Sunday, in the big hall which sits 320 people, and that on Wednesday they booked half of that and much less people were there, around 50-60,” said Kannouras.

Yiannis Kareklas, who runs the News Department at CyBC, maintained that the state broadcaster performed its duties to a tee.

“CyBC implemented the code on the elections as agreed with all the parties, giving them all their 15 minutes. After that, it’s up to each individual how they want to go about it,” he said.

(Source: Cyprus Mail)
Copyright © Cyprus Mail 2008 Please contact Cyprus Mail for the copyright terms of this article.

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