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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 06-08-27

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    The Greek Cypriot electorate is called to the ballot box once more this year this time by the Church of Cyprus to elect in a lengthy and complex procedure the new Archbishop, on 24 September.

    He will replace the ailing Archbishop Chrysostomos, who has been incapacitated for the past several years. The sick clergyman succeeded the late Archbishop and first President of the Republic of Cyprus Makarios III, who died on August 3, 1977. Since Chrysostomoss illness, the Church has been run by the acting primate of the church, Pafos Bishop Chrysostomos.

    In May this year, Cypriots elected the 56 members of the House of Representatives. Now after a lapse of 29 years, they will elect a new Archbishop for the autocephalous Church of Cyprus, following a relevant decision by a meeting of high ranking clergy, called by the Eucumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos.

    Yiannis Harilaou, in charge of the church election body, has said the elections will be held in accordance with the Church Charter and special legislation and the name of the new archbishop is expected to be announced before midnight on 24 September, when elections will take place.

    Greek Orthodox refugees will vote at the place of their current residence and votes will be counted at the Cyprus International Centre in Nicosia, he explained, adding that polling stations will operate in churches, schools and church halls. He said the procedure for the election of the new archbishop is rather complex.

    Candidates for the post of special representatives from each community and area started on Friday submitting their bids, a process that will last until 4 September. Anybody over 25 who is registered in the electoral lists of local communities is eligible to submit his or her interest to become one of 1.400 special representatives (400 for the archbishopric district that includes Famagusta district and 200 for each of the metropolitan districts of Pafos, Larnaca, Kyrenia, Limassol and Morphou).

    The 1.400 special representatives will, within 22 days of being elected, elect 100 general representatives, who must be Greek Orthodox, men or women, permanent residents of Cyprus and over 30 years old.

    The 100 general representatives are classified in the following manner: 50 for the archbishopric district (clergy and laymen) and ten general representatives for each of the other five districts.

    The Electoral Assembly, comprising 33 ex officio members (such as bishops, deputy bishops, abbots and monks) and the 100 general representatives, is called to the Holy Archbishopric to elect the Archbishop by secret ballot in two separate ballot boxes, one for each group that makes up the Assembly (ex officio and general representatives).

    The new Archbishop must secure the majority of votes in both ballot boxes. In case of equal vote, the decision rests with the Holy Synod which meets to elect the archbishop in a secret ballot. If again, there is equal vote, the new archbishop is elected in a draw.

    The Church of Cyprus is autocephalous and its head enjoys exceptional privileges (signs in red ink, wears special empirical tunic at important church ceremonies and holds a scepter). The Church was announced autocephalous in 478 AD when the remains of its founder, Saint Barnabas, were located on the island, in a tomb together with a copy of the gospel by Saint Mathew.


    Two Greek Cypriot journalists, arrested on Friday by the illegal Turkish Cypriot regime in occupied Cyprus, have been remanded in custody until Monday, in connection with alleged charges of filming a military zone, a move that has sparked off severe criticism from the Cyprus Union of Journalists, Turkish Cypriot media and political parties.

    On Friday Sigma TV reporter Adonis Pallikarides and cameraman Nikitas Dalitis crossed to the occupied part of Nicosia to talk to Ali Erel, former head of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce, and Turkish Cypriot businessmen, who object to the regimes policy not to demolish a bridge in occupied Nicosia that would facilitate trade between the islands Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities, divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion. Cypriot Union of Journalists (CJU), Greek Cypriot parties, as well as Turkish Cypriot media have condemned the detention of members of the press.

    ``This is a dreadful escalation of the continuing arbitrariness by the Turkish occupation forces,`` says a CJU press release, calling on the United Nations and the Cypriot government to act more decisively and drastically to force the regime free the two journalists. The CJU has called for an urgent meeting of media representatives to coordinate measures against ``this condemnable situation.``

    Justice and Public Order Minister Sofoklis Sofokleous described today the behaviour of the occupation regime as provocative, unacceptable and immoral, saying that his ministry and the ministry of foreign affairs have undertaken an initiative not only to free the journalists but also to protest strongly their illegal arrest.

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