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By Peter Stevenson MEMBERS of Volunteer Doctors Cyprus have treated around 350 people at their free clinic in Nicosia since it opened three months ago, while two more, one in Paphos and one in Polis are due to open today. Limassol also has a free clinic, which was opened only last month, and plans have been drawn ...
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Cyprus Internet Directory [ Our View: Christofias thinks he is above criticism and the law ]

Our View: Christofias thinks he is above criticism and the law

ALL THE positives that we wrote about the Mari investigation yesterday appear to have been demolished, within a few hours, by President Christofias and his AKEL henchmen. We had said that it was the first time in the history of the Republic that the President and the Council of Ministers had appointed a committee with a brief to investigate them; it was also the first time a president had agreed to appear before an investigative committee and answer questions in a public hearing.

Unfortunately Christofias and his AKEL entourage ruined all this by refusing to accept the findings of the investigation, which attributed political and personal responsibility for the blast to the president. They could not accept the conclusion of the report, which in another first for Cyprus, did not resort to legalistic obfuscation and clouding of the issue, as had been the practice in past investigations. Christofias must have hoped the investigator, Polys Polyviou whom the Council of Ministers had appointed, would have done exactly that, otherwise he would not have chosen him to establish the political responsibilities for the blast.

How else can we explain the contempt shown by the president for the findings of the report? “The President of the Republic categorically rejects that he has personal responsibility for the incident,” he declared on Monday. “The conclusion is not substantiated by the testimony and the material presented before the investigative committee,” he added and accused Polyviou of overstepping his mandate, by “making suggestions and evaluations regarding the formulation of foreign policy.”

This was the same man, who had pledged he would respect the findings of the investigation and accept any political responsibility that was attributed to him by it. But the report was not to his liking so he declared it null and void and rubbished the investigator’s work, like a despotic ruler who considers himself above the law and above criticism. The message of the president was that the respected lawyer his government had appointed to find out who was politically responsible for the Mari blast was not to be taken seriously. 

The irony is that Christofias and his henchmen are constantly calling on people to show respect for the institution of the presidency. Is this how he hopes to encourage respect for the presidency - by bringing the state into disrepute with his actions and shabby behaviour? It has become obvious that the decision to put the government and president under investigation was a political farce, to ease the pressure on the government after the Mari blast. The only problem for Christofias was that the investigator he appointed was not willing to take part in the farce.    

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

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