Political Resolution of the 18th Congress of AKEL
Cyprus Economy – Economic and Social Problems
1. The 18th Congress of AKEL reaffirms the position that a strong economy constitutes a significant weapon in the struggle of the Cypriot people for justice. At the same time, economic development that is harmonized and orientated towards the needs of the popular strata strengthens unity in the country.
2. The ascending course of the economy, continued during the last five years achieving high rates of growth (5% average) despite certain side problems that arose. The small size and the high degree of outward orientation of the Cyprus economy have led it to be highly dependent on the world capitalist and particularly the European economy. The serious structural problem of an oversized service sector at the expense of the productive sectors continues to exist and to intensify with the productive sectors being pressurized intensively by competition due to the need of harmonization with the European prospect without the government making any effort to modernize these sectors in order for them to become more competitive.
3. The Clerides right-wing government adopts and implements the well-known neo-conservative economic development model against the interests of the people.
To face the anti-popular government policy a broad common front of the working people irrespective of ideological stand should be formed on the basis of defending the achievements and protecting the healthy structures of the economy from the undermining of big capital. The 18th Congress calls upon the Party and more broadly the Popular Movement, to continue being at the vanguard of the struggle to curb the anti-popular policy responding to the expectations of the working people and the people in general.
4. AKEL’s economic philosophy in the present circumstances is based on the following principles:
– The contemporary, dynamic, flexible and socially oriented mixed economy.
– The regulation of the uncontrolled operation of market laws of the present system in such a way that the market does not operate against the economically weak strata of the society.
– The safeguarding of a more equitable distribution and redistribution of the created wealth.
– The distribution of economic burdens according to each one’s income.
5. On the basis of the above principles AKEL forms its own pro-popular alternative that includes:
– Dealing with the structural problem of our economy in the productive sectors, industry and agriculture.
– Dealing immediately with the problem of modernization of the productive basis of industry, particularly in the manufacturing sector.
– Radical rational dealing with the budget deficit and the public debt.
– Reforming of the tax system towards a pro-popular approach, controlling of tax evasion and the strengthening of state social supplements.
– Strengthening the role of the Price Committee (sets prices on certain goods)
– Supporting and protecting the Cooperative Movement.
– It is necessary that the relevant public organizations produce such housing plans that would be within the capabilities of lower and middle income classes. Curbing the privatization policy promoted by the government in the state and semi-governmental sector.
– Study and form a policy for the improvement of the life of our compatriots who today live under unacceptable conditions, under the poverty line. A large number of our compatriots live marginalized by society in miserable conditions despite the appearance of our flourishing consumers society. As the Party of the working people, the movement which is against social injustice we have to face this huge social problem and prioritize it.
– Elaborate on a specific policy of struggle against crime and drugs that increase constantly, take an organized form and erode the Cypriot society with incalculable consequences.
– Upgrading and intensifying the struggle waged against sub-culture and the way of life that accompanies it.
– Supporting of the claim of the Trade Union movement to end the issue of permits to foreign workers except in very special cases and to take drastic measures to put an end to the illegal employment of foreign workers. AKEL also supports the claim of the trade union movement to plan measures of encouraging the idle Cypriot work force in covering the needs. Within this framework we warmly support the employment of Turkish Cypriot workers, a measure which will not only solve the problem of required work force but will also contribute to the rapprochement of the two communities.
AKEL will work so that foreign workers employed in Cyprus get the same treatment as their Cypriot colleagues and will decisively fight against possible phenomena of racism and xenophobia.
The 18th Congress approves the comprehensive proposal for the Education Policy as adopted by the C.C. on the proposal of the Education Bureau. The 18th Congress calls on the Party as a whole and particularly on the members and cadres of AKEL that have a direct relation with the educational issues, to intensify their efforts for the promotion of the positions on which the Party policy on education is based.
The 18th Congress expresses the Party’s full support to the University of Cyprus and condemns the attacks and attempts against its autonomy and bi-communal character as well as against academic liberty.
The health of the people is of outmost importance. There are extremely serious problems in the health sector. The introduction of a General Health Plan has been for years one of AKEL’s most basic demands. AKEL’s stable position is the creation of conditions of unobstructed granting of a high level of medical treatment to all
strata of the Cypriot people, within the framework of a National Health Plan.
The 18th Congress of AKEL is in favor of free medical treatment for the people and particularly for the lower and middle income strata. For these strata we demand the elimination of paid medical treatment in our hospitals.
AKEL notes with concern the delay observed in the introduction of a General Health Plan and is going to use all its forces for the creation of favorable conditions so that the implementation of the National General Health Plan becomes a reality the soonest and with economic sources that would favor the lower and middle income strata.
1. Under the Clerides government internal unity in the country is being seriously tested. By their decisions, actions and declarations the ruling circles provoke the public perception of justice and cause unnecessary tensions and conflicts in the country. The attempted restoration and expiation of EOKA B’ and Grivas constitute an unacceptable and condemnable policy that undermines the unity of our internal front. The 18th Congress calls on all AKEL members as well as every democrat to continue defending the historical truth, the historical memory and the dignity of this country.
2. With the right-wing coming to power, the implementation of a policy vindicating Grivas and EOKA B’, the concluding of the defense dogma with Greece (NOTE: of a united defense area) and its populist demagogic use by the governing circles, we become witnesses of the revival of nationalism and chauvinism. Chauvinism serves the path of partition. It works in the interest of the enemies of Cyprus and prepares ideologically either new extremist actions, or the acceptance of partitionist solutions in the name of national purity.
The 18th Congress of AKEL condemns nationalism and chauvinism and appeals to every Cypriot patriot to be in a continuous and decisive struggle against them.
3. As a result of the struggles of our people and with AKEL’s very significant contribution, in Cyprus we had a progressive course of consolidation and broadening of the democratic institutions and values. This development became particularly noticeable during the previous five-years term. The coming of the right-wing to power halted this course. Currently, a policy of restrictions of democratic rights and undermining of democratic institutions and values is being pursued.
The 18th Congress of AKEL condemns these phenomena and struggles for the defense of institutions and values, for the defense of the democratic achievements of our people.
4. Under Clerides’ administration, the role of the National Council (NOTE: a consultative body to the President of the Republic, composed of the leaders and representatives of the Parliamentary parties) has been degraded. The fact that the President of the Republic takes significant decisions in absentia of the National Council, or in confrontation with the majority of the body, leads to rendering the institution useless; AKEL considers this institution absolutely necessary for the correct handling of our national issue. AKEL insists on:
a) the timely, full and continual information to the National Council members before the decision making on serious issues regarding the handling of the Cyprus problem;
b) the substantial discussion in the National Council;
c) the adherence to the unanimous National Council decisions;
d) the respect of the National Council majority’s view.
5. The established situation of negative discrimination against left-wing citizens and generally to the detriment of citizens that are not supporters of the parties in the coalition government, has taken large dimensions. Meritocracy is being replaced by the submission of the state mechanism to party interests and the sharing of posts between the parties in the coalition aiming to satisfy party objectives.
The 18th Congress mandates the Party to undertake specific initiatives to defend and consolidate meritocracy, including measures for its institutional safeguarding.
Scandals are a daily phenomenon and mismanagement a permanent characteristic mark of the coalition government. The 18th Congress calls on the Party to go on exposing, criticizing and condemning every case of scandal, mismanagement and inadequate management, having fair management as its permanent aim and goal.
6. The unity of the internal front is tested also due to the socio-economic policies of the government, that is in line with the interests of the big capital. The attempt to destroy the Cost Of Living Adjustment and to undermine other achievements of the working people, the intention to prohibit strikes, the insistence on zero pay rise and the undermining of the institution of collective bargaining are not only aimed against the standard of living of the working people, but cause also frictions and conflicts that weaken our internal front. The 18th Congress calls on the Party to continue the struggle resisting the government and big capital machinations against the working people, their standard of living and their achievements.
7. The citizens of Cyprus follow with concern the rise of criminality that is even taking the form of organized crime. The feeling of insecurity is intensified also by the fact of the weakness exhibited by the government to face the increasing criminality effectively.
We reject every effort of the government to be vested with special powers, a phenomenon that constitutes an attempt to restrict the constitutional and human rights and we condemn the cases of violation of these rights by state organs.
8. The sharp increase of Mass Media, and particularly the electronic is accompanied by the appearance of negative phenomena, like the creation of private information giants that work for specific interests, specific ideologies and policies, that shape public opinion at will. The 18th Congress of AKEL believes that an institutional framework and a deontology code should be defined, that would regulate the various issues linked with the functioning of the Mass Media in cooperation with all bodies involved. The 18th Congress mandates the Party to continue working for real pluralism in the Mass Media and for the control of information quality, for deterring the phenomena of concentration of mass media in the hands of separate, economically powerful individuals. The 18th Congress of AKEL is in favor of supporting and maintaining public Radio and Television, considering its existence necessary for the country.
1. The 18th Congress of AKEL evaluates the developments that led to the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the community of socialist countries in East Europe to be negative for the whole of humanity. The evaluations of the course and contribution of “existing socialism” as well as of the necessity to renew socialism with its further democratization, made by our Party at its 17th Congress, were correct and are true also today. Unfortunately, the effort to renew socialism failed.
When the necessity of democratization and modernization of the concrete model of socialist building was understood by the leadership of the communist parties which were in power and particularly by the CPSU, the attempt which was undertaken to achieve this target was without any method and planning. In the process of perestroika basic principles were violated, the foundations of the socialist idea were undermined, and the role of the state and the Party were undermined. Faults and omissions were committed while such contradictions and conflicts were caused which led the whole attempt to failure. The external interventions also played important destabilizing role. The facts have proved that even some of the leaders who undertook the task of renewing socialism had ceased essentially to believe in socialism. Some of them had even acted consciously to undermine socialism and contributed to its collapse. In the end, instead of renewing socialism in Eastern Europe they contributed to having today a resurrection of capitalism and worse so in its most primitive and barbaric version.
2. The failure of the specific “model” to build socialism does not constitute a failure of the socialist idea. Socialism was born out of the objective necessity for progress of the human society, that is found in continuous motion towards higher forms of social organization. The deadlocks and the exploitative nature of capitalism recreate the socialist idea and the need to build a socialist society. Socialism identifies with the ideals of social justice, real freedom and essential democracy. That is why it cannot depart from the stage of history.
The future of humanity is not and cannot be a society of exploitation, oppression, inequality and injustice. The future of humanity is with socialism, social justice, democracy and the humanism that is included in socialism.
3. The political forces that are carriers of the socialist idea and socialist practice are not outdated by history and developments but on the contrary they are called upon to play again a vanguard role, projecting through the struggle for popular rights their own alternative. From this point of view they are tantamount to the present and future.
The 18th Congress of AKEL greets the forces that build socialist societies in their countries and expresses the Party’s internationalist solidarity with the peoples of these countries. AKEL also welcomes the fact that left progressive forces have come to power in countries of the former socialist community, as well as the significant strengthening of some others.
The 18th Congress greets the socialist forces and parties that under unfavorable conditions struggle against exploitation and oppression for the prevalence of socialist ideals and expresses to all forces its stable internationalist solidarity.
4. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union and of the community of socialist counties in Europe the so called new world order prevailed. The new world order is based on the right of the strongest power that is to say of the United States and their close allies and serves their interests. The UNO is virtually under the guidance of the USA. The inter-imperialist contradictions between the centers of capitalism are intensifying again. The struggle for spheres of influence takes on new dimensions. At the same time, a number of new hot-beds of armed confrontation have appeared while old conflicts re-emerge. The revival of nationalism and chauvinism as well as the spreading of religious fanaticism give new dimensions of tragedy to hot-beds of confrontation and threaten with yet bigger and more destructive explosions. The gap between the industrially developed countries and the rest of the world is growing and deepening. The environmental and ecological problems created by the unrestrained thirst for easy profit become more acute.
5. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union and of the socialist community in Europe, small struggling peoples like the people of Cyprus, lost a very important support in their struggle. As time goes by and as the present day world supremacists become more cynical, so does this loss become even more evident.
A concrete order has been formed in the world. The socialist, left, progressive forces cannot accept it and compromise with it. The only available option is the struggle against the new order and all that it means. The struggle for the protection of universal principles and values such as essential democracy, human rights in practice and not on paper, national independence, social justice, human dignity and progress.
AKEL believes that for the successful tackling of the so-called new order, the links, common search, cooperation and coordination of the left, progressive and socialist parties on an international level is necessary. This conviction led to the organization of the international symposium of October 1991 on “Socialism as an Ideology and the Role of the Left at the Threshold of the 21st Century” as well as the international meeting held in Larnaca in December 1994 on “The Need for Common Action of the Left, Progressive and Patriotic Forces to Face the New Situation”. It is also necessary to strengthen internationalist solidarity which must take the form of concrete initiatives.
The 18th Congress mandates the Party the duty to take its share of the responsibility participating in initiatives undertaken by others and promoting its own initiatives to renew the ties and coordination of action of the progressive socialist forces on a regional and international scale.
6. The new world situation has also affected negatively the Non-Aligned Movement. In addition, internal contradictions within the movement itself as well as the effort for its manipulation by large Western forces and efforts for its capture by several centers of Islam, have weakened the Non-Aligned Movement which, today plays a diminished role in international affairs.
In the ranks of the Non-Aligned Movement, there exist forces which resist the attempts of its manipulation, division or/and self-dissolution. Forces exist which think and work for the renewal of the movement, its modernization and the new role which it can and must play especially as regards the defense of the countries of the so-called South against their being robbed by the imperialist forces and the fight against poverty, misery, diseases and the bloody conflicts which torment these countries. AKEL believes in the Non-Aligned Movement and its potential to play a balancing role, a role of political and social justice in today’s world.
7. The 18th Congress of AKEL considers any thoughts, made both inside and outside the Government, to distance Cyprus from the Non-Aligned Movement, under the pretext of Cyprus’ course of accession to the European Union, to be extremely wrong and dangerous for the interests of Cyprus.
The orientation of Cyprus towards accession to the European Union, and more so in a period when still the European Union does not have a common foreign policy, is not in conflict with the participation of Cyprus in the Non-Aligned Movement; a participation that is necessary, useful and supportive of the struggle we wage.
The 18th Congress of AKEL considers that Cyprus should remain an active member of the Non-Aligned Movement and play a vanguard role in the efforts to modernize it. A possible withdrawal of Cyprus from the Non-Aligned Movement will lead to isolation. For an undefined period of time, Cyprus will be neither non-aligned nor an E.U. member. Such a development would be detrimental to the struggle of defending and completing our independence.
The institution of Local Authorities constitutes, for the Left, a broad field of action within which contact with the citizens and their day to day problems is developed. The fundamental guidelines of activity of the Left representatives are: the aim for a dynamic and balanced local development that would be submitted, however, to the need of a human quality of life and be extended not only to the issues of material infrastructure but also to issues of culture, sport, social programs, environment and in general to everything related to the contemporary concept of the standard of living of the ordinary citizen.
Despite the positive steps made, AKEL continues to struggle for the broadening of the competence and powers of local authorities and the safeguarding of their economic independence, in combination with the improvement of the quantity and quality of activity of the local bodies. The still existing system of appointing heads of local councils and counselors in the areas administered by municipalities, is out-dated and unacceptable. This is why it should be abolished and these local authorities be elected.
The 18th Congress appreciates the progress achieved in the functioning of the Local Authorities Bureau of the C.C. At the same time, it considers that the necessary prerequisite for a more coordinated and efficient activity of our Party in this field is the improvement of the functioning of the Local Authorities Bureau of the C.C. and the relatives district bureau, and the upgrading of the significance and attention of the party bodies to the issues of Local Authorities.
Mass Popular Movement
1. The Mass Popular Movement is a great achievement of the working people of our country. The mass popular organizations are the bodies that demand and defend the rights of the blue and white collar workers. It is in these organizations that the militants receive their education and experience. They are the vehicles by means of whom the positions and policies of the Left reaches the broader strata of the population, while, at the same time, they become the daily receivers of the problems and search, worries and expectations of the people.
In the Mass Popular Movement the Party members should play a vanguard role. A role that they should win daily by their work, consistency and devotion to the defense of popular interests.
At the same time the 18th Congress sets before the members of AKEL the duty of a more active participation, creative presence and contribution to the various mass bodies beyond the Organizations of the Popular Movement.
2. The 18th Congress of AKEL appreciates the activity and successes of PEO (Pancyprian Federation of Labor) achieved in the past five year period. PEO has continued to play a vanguard and defining role in the struggles for the defense and broadening of labor achievements. The working class and the Trade Union Movement have faced, following Clerides’ election, a frontal attack of the employers’ class against the gains and benefits of the working people. This attack is encouraged by the governmental policy. Despite the difficulties that appeared at the beginning, the trade union movement succeeded in uniting its forces and the working people in general, in the resistance and struggle for the defense and safeguarding of the gains and the standard of living. It achieved the prevention, to a great extent, of the implementation of this policy, to defend the gains and at the same time to win both pay rises and other benefits.
The 18th Congress of AKEL points out that, despite the achievements, not all problems have been solved and particularly that the difficulties and dangers from the employers’ and the government’s attack have not been finally overcome and have not ceased to exist.
The Trade Union Movement has to remain strong and united in order to remain able to defend the interests of the working people. The contact with the working people at the place of work and residence, their organization and education, remains the priority task of the members of AKEL and in general of all the cadres of the Trade Union Movement.
The AKEL members who are trade union activists in PEO have the noble duty of the organizational development and further spreading of PEO. The maintaining of PEO as the most numerous trade union organization constitutes a key factor for a more effective organization of the workers’s struggle in general in defense of their rights and the achievement of new gains.
The spirited defense of the working class gains, the full implementation of collective agreements, the safeguarding of the COLA and other gains, the safeguarding for all beneficiaries of the rights emerging from the labor legislation and the International Conventions, the cancellation of the efforts to freeze and decrease incomes and the stable rise of the standard of living remain the daily concern of AKEL and the cadres working in the Trade Union Movement.
3. The 18th Congress of AKEL expresses its appreciation for the work done by EDON – the United Democratic Youth Organization – in the objectively unfavorable conditions that bring about feelings of disappointment, individualism, mistrust towards political life, passivity and turning away from organized struggle. The Congress expresses also its appreciation of EDON’s struggle against nationalism and chauvinism and for rapprochement with the Turkish Cypriots.
EDON, despite the difficulties, is active in a number of sectors that concern the youth, developing in a creative way the policy and line of AKEL in that area and strengthening the bonds with the youth.
The Party should back up this effort. The young party members should consider it a party responsibility to undertake an active role in EDON’s work. A closer coordination and cooperation should be sought, but particularly the frequent and specific dealing in the Party bodies at all levels with the work of EDON. More generally, on the basis of the C.C. resolution, the Party should approach with more attention the issues that concern the youth, encouraging, at the same time, the development of initiatives from the EDON local organizations so that their activity would be in pace with the contemporary demands of the youth.
4. The 18th Congress calls upon the Party to continue having at the center of its attention the problems and demands of the peasants and to support the difficult struggles of EKA – the Union of Cypriot Peasants – and the peasants’ Movement to upgrade and modernize agricultural production. The 18th Congress of AKEL is in favor of progressive reforms in agriculture in order to upgrade and modernize the Cyprus agriculture and cattle-breeding sector, and for a rational communal development and revival of the rural areas.
5. AKEL appreciates the work carried out by the Women’s Movement of POGO, which, thanks to its long struggles has helped for measures to be taken in several sectors of social and political life that have in their turn contributed to the raising of the position of the Cypriot woman. The 18th Congress appreciates that there is a need for AKEL to wage a more intensive struggle in cooperation with POGO, aimed at solving the problems of women, the improvement of their social stand, for the abolition of all unfavorable discriminations that continue to exist against them. The Congress believes that the rights of women in all sectors of social life should constitute an object of organized contest by the Party and the progressive movement of women. The Party should give the movement more support and help; at the same time, the Party should press to increase the rates of promoting women to decision-making centers.
6. The 18th Congress of AKEL reaffirms that the Party shall continue granting assistance and support to the middle strata, including the self-employed, for the promotion of problems they face. The duties of the Party and more broadly of the Popular Movement in this sector can be summarized as following:
a) To reiterate the community and relation of interests of the middle strata with those of the working class and peasantry.
b) To contribute through the party members of that body to the further spreading of its organizations and branch sectors, as well as to the study, classification and prioritization of their problems.
c) To bring up these problems to the competent bodies both in and out of the House of Representatives, and struggle with the middle strata and the self-employed to demand their just claims.
d) To guide and struggle along with these strata in case we enter the European Union, so that our harmonization with the acquis communitaire would not adversely influence their standard of living.
e) To take carefully into consideration also their own interests when formulating the Party’s more general policy and tactics.
7. AKEL expresses its appreciation to the professional organizations of elementary and secondary school teachers, doctors and more broadly of professionals and calls on its members to increase their positive contribution to the activity of these organizations.
8. The 18th Congress declares that AKEL shall always be at the side of the Cooperative Movement. The fundamental task in the present conditions is to protect, defend and further broaden the achievements of the Cooperative Movement, its further democratization, as well as to take the necessary measures to secure correct management, programming and deterring of irregularities.
AKEL and its cadres who work and are active in the Cooperative Movement have the obligation to continue as in the past, away from petty political objectives, to contribute to the continuous strengthening of mutual help and solidarity within the Cooperative Movement and the consolidation of its trustworthiness that would prove in favor of its hundreds of thousands of members.
9. The 18th Congress of AKEL reaffirms the Party’s faith and devotion to the principles of peaceful co-existence, internationalism and internationalist solidarity. Under the new circumstances in the world, AKEL believes in the necessity not only to maintain the Peace and Solidarity Movements but at the same time underlines the need to broaden their objectives and goals as well as their prestige and weight. A fundamental task is their organizational strengthening and further use of personalities of recognized prestige.
AKEL shall work for the revitalizing and strengthening of the Peace and Solidarity Movements.
10. Following the enormous disaster of 1974, the refugee movement established the Pancyprian Committee of Refugees -PEP-, which offered invaluable services to the refugees. Unfortunately, however, in recent years serious functioning problems were caused in PEP mainly due to the attempt by certain circles to serve their political interests.
Eventually, the House of Representatives established the new PEP (Pancyprian Union of Refugees) which, following the suggestion of our Parliamentary Group, is going to form its leading bodies by elections on the basis of the simple proportional representation system. The Congress calls on the refugee members of AKEL to work in order to elect the most democratic leadership of the new PEP and to continue struggling for the solution of refugee problems, that are still many and difficult.
11. The 18th Congress reaffirms the principled position of AKEL for the need to verify the fate of the missing persons of the Cyprus tragedy.
AKEL had and continues to rate the problem as one of priority both in its activities and its efforts in every direction and on every occasion, until the effort to speed the verification of the missing persons’ fate is successful.
12. The violation of the human rights of the enclaved persons on the issues of free movement, property, medical treatment, education, exercise of profession and on many other issues of their daily life goes on.
Given that the enclaved at present are almost exclusively people of a certain advanced age, the 18th Congress of AKEL considers that it should be dealt with as a priority issue.
Both in the 4th Interstate Appeal of Cyprus to the Council of Europe and to every international organization we should press so that Turkey should be obliged to alter its stand, thus enabling the enclaved to remain in their homes and properties under human conditions.
13. The 18th Congress states that the various issues that concern the victimized by the coup d’etat, the invasion and occupation, the families of the dead and missing persons, and the disabled and their families, shall continue to be at the center of AKEL’s attention.
Our Party shall continue taking initiatives for the resolution of problems faced by these groups of our fellow citizens.
The Cyprus Problem
1. The 18th Congress reaffirms the position of the Party on the Cyprus problem which it considers correct.
The Cyprus problem is a problem of invasion, occupation and foreign interventions. The treacherous coup d’etat of the Greek Junta and EOKA B’ paved the way for the Turkish invasion and occupation. Of course, the problem of normalization of relations between the two communities and the common shaping of the federal structure of the State of Cyprus, is a real one.
The solution of the Cyprus problem should provide for:
a. The restoration and respect of the independence, sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of the Republic of Cyprus. The sovereignty of the independent Republic of Cyprus should be single and indivisible, in the same way that the international personality and citizenship should be a single one.
b. The withdrawal of the Turkish occupation troops, of all foreign troops and the demilitarization of Cyprus.
c. the withdrawal of the settlers and the restoration of the demographic composition of the people of Cyprus that is today being altered in a dangerous way due to the mass influx of settlers.
d. The restoration and respect of the human rights and fundamental freedoms of the Cypriot citizens. The safeguarding of the right of all refugees to return to their homes and the safeguarding of the right of free movement, settlement and property are of priority importance.
e. The creation of a federal bi-communal, bi-regional, non-aligned Republic of Cyprus on the basis of internationally accepted principles and rules that govern the functioning of federal states.
f. The ensuring of extended trustworthy international guarantees within the framework of the UN that would exclude any rights of unilateral intervention.
g. The creation of conditions of security for absolutely all its inhabitants.
The Cyprus problem should be solved by peaceful means, by means of essential negotiations and on the basis of the principles of the Charter of the UN, the UN and its Security Council resolutions as well as the 1977 and 1979 high-level agreements.
Irrespective of the course of solution of the Cyprus problem, priority should be given to the verification of the fate of the missing persons and the safeguarding of the rights of our enclaved compatriots. We appeal to the UN to exhibit more sensitivity to the promotion of these two humanitarian issues.
2. Twenty one years after the treacherous coup d’etat and the Turkish invasion the Cyprus problem remains unsolved and the responsibility lies on Ankara and the Denktash regime. No progress has been achieved towards a just, viable and mutually acceptable solution but, quite the contrary, a dangerous retrogression has been noted in recent years. The 18th Congress ascertains with great concern, that the distance separating us from final partition is constantly narrowing.
For the perpetuation and deterioration of the situation on the Cyprus problem, responsibility also lies on the shoulders of the permanent members of the Security Council, particularly the US and Britain, that continue to appear reluctant to exercise pressure on the Turkish side to comply with the UN resolutions. The UN itself is avoiding to examine and implement alternative ways to promote a solution of the Cyprus problem, as provided by its own resolutions.
Clerides’ Government, by pursuing a contradictory and erroneous policy as it has been expressed by the refusal to make use of UN resolution 789, by the acceptance of the CBMs of March 21, 1994, by its behavior on defense issues -which it uses in a demagogic way to cover up its deadlock policy on the Cyprus problem-, the participation in the unofficial consultations and the secret talks, with the messages of readiness to concede sovereignty and the idea for NATO guarantees, is not free of responsibilities for the present situation in the Cyprus problem.
3. The only acceptable framework of finding a solution to the Cyprus problem is that of the United Nations Organization. Any other initiative should be such as to strengthen the UN efforts and should be based on the UN Resolutions on Cyprus.
The manifested US initiatives go out of the above mentioned framework, supplants and displaces the United Nations, a fact that hides great dangers for the cause of Cyprus. The 18th Congress of AKEL ascertains that the deviation of the Cyprus problem from the framework of the UN is taking place also as a result of the inertia and tolerance of the Cyprus Government, that is passively sitting back in expectation of the outcome of the US initiative.
4. The 18th Congress of AKEL also ascertains with concern that the voices for a solution of two nationally pure states in Cyprus are increasing both outside and inside Cyprus. The lengthy abeyance of the Cyprus problem and the weariness that accompanies it, the ineffectiveness of the procedures tested to date within the framework of the UN and the real security problems, cultivate the ground for a gradual acceptance of the philosophy “land for sovereignty”. The danger is real to be led to an unacceptable compromise that is not within the UN resolutions and the high level agreements and that would result to a loose confederation of two practically independent states in Cyprus. Such an outcome would mean the end of the Republic of Cyprus and the beginning of new adventures for our people.
The apparently unyielding “liberating” anti-federal policy, that develops in parallel to the revival and cultivation of nationalism and chauvinism, leads objectively to the same partitioning result.
5. The 18th Congress of AKEL expresses the conviction that the course towards a partitioning solution can be halted. Preconditions for a just and viable solution that would restore the unity, territorial integrity and independence of the Republic of Cyprus can still be created. In order to achieve the above, the 18th Congress suggests the following:
– To restore the trustworthiness and effectiveness of the National Council as a collective body of handing the Cyprus problem. An end to be put to the continual disregard by the President of the Republic of decisions taken by the National Council, a fact that leads the body to humiliation and renders it useless.
– The National Council should reaffirm the principles of solution of the Cyprus problem as these are included in the UN resolutions and the high level agreements and as they were formulated in the unanimous proposals of the Greek Cypriot side in January 1989. We should reiterate that the sovereignty of the future federal Republic of Cyprus will be one and indivisible. On the basis of this reaffirmation, a world-wide campaign should be undertaken by the Government, the House of Representatives, the political leadership and all organized groups to promote a just and viable solution of the Cyprus problem. A significant role in this campaign can be played by the Cypriots living abroad and by their organizations, which the government, unfortunately, is not using adequately and in an effective way.
– Our side should stop staring passively at initiatives taken by third parties and should take up the initiative of moves. At the same time, initiatives like that of Russia, that are placed within the framework of the UN and strengthen its role, should be supported and used correctly.
– The Cyprus problem should be brought back into the framework of the United Nations and to the correct basis of searching for a solution, that is the UN resolutions and the high-level agreements.
– It should be pointed out to the UN Secretary-General and to the permanent members of the Security Council that the intercommunal talks can be resumed if the Turkish side abandons its demands for separate sovereignty and accepts the Security Council resolutions relative to sovereignty. The permanent members of the Security Council and particularly the USA and Britain should exercise their influence on Turkey in this direction.
– It should be pointed out to the UN Secretary-General and to the Security Council that implementation of advanced CBMs is possible only if there is progress on the essence of the Cyprus problem.
6. The 18th Congress reconfirms the position taken by AKEL on defence.
The defense of the Republic of Cyprus is essential in order to face the threat arising from the presence of the Turkish occupation troops as well as any other foreign plot against our homeland. Defense is not an end in itself, nor can it achieve to upset the correlation of forces. Defense ought to be submitted to and serve the strategic target which is the political and peaceful solution of the Cyprus problem.
The defense policy, however, must be within the possibilities of our economy and must not affect the development process.
Any tendency of exaggeration, inconsiderate expenses at the expense of development and excessive emphasis on the significance of defense, leads to the impression of miniaturization of the Cyprus problem and our economy, cultivates illusions about the feasibility of the military route to solve the Cyprus problem and opposes the commonly acceptable policy of rapprochement between Greek-Cypriots and Turkish-Cypriots.
Regarding the Dogma of a United Defense Area (NOTE: agreed between the governments of Cyprus and Greece) we believe that the rights and the obligation of Greece arising from the Treaties of Guarantee and Alliance give it, to a greater degree the legal right, to support and defend the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the entire Republic of Cyprus, without, at the same time, giving the impression of undergrading the state entity of the Republic of Cyprus.
7. The Turkish Cypriot community currently lives under difficult conditions and is at a state of search. The various “governmental” patterns that have been tried in the illegal state, have not brought the solution to the economic and social problems faced by the Turkish Cypriot community. In the past five years too, the Turkish Cypriots continued leaving Cyprus in quick rates. On the other hand, the influx of settlers from Turkey has taken on large dimensions, thus the demographic character of the island has changed. The difficulties in the economic sector have led to a further deterioration in the standard of living. These developments, though not leading directly the Turkish Cypriots to stand in favor of a solution of the Cyprus problem and against the lack of solution, they, non-the-less, help them realize that it is the Cyprus problem that lies at the heart of their problem and that only with its correct solution their problems will also be solved.
The 18th Congress of AKEL reiterates its commitment to the policy of rapprochement between the two communities and repeats its proposal for practical rapprochement measures that were approved by the 17th Congress and which were consequently submitted at the meetings of Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot political leaders in March 1991.
AKEL has the warmest feelings of respect and friendship towards all those Turkish Cypriot compatriots of ours who, like us, desire the peaceful reunification of Cyprus. We consider those Turkish Cypriot compatriots to be fellow fighters in the common struggle and we deem their struggle too, a serious factor in achieving a solution of the Cyprus problem; indeed a factor that no one should underestimate.
The 18th Congress declares that AKEL is going to continue uncompromisingly the struggle against nationalism and chauvinism considering this struggle to be an outmost patriotic task. We shall continue to struggle for the development of feelings of friendship and mutual respect between the two communities and the promotion of cooperation between them. We shall continue promoting the common elements that unite us as Cypriots, being absolutely convinced that this is not in contradiction nor in conflict with the national origin of each community.
Within the above mentioned framework, AKEL considers the continuation of its contacts with the Turkish Cypriot parties as extremely necessary and welcomes every kind of contact between the youth, women, trade union, cultural and other organizations of the two communities as well as between ordinary people.
8. The 18th Congress calls upon the Party to continue the struggle to avert partition and reunite Cyprus and its people. The Congress calls upon all party members to defend and promote everywhere AKEL’s policy on the Cyprus problem and to be on a constant alert and readiness to proceed to popular mobilizations if needed, for the promotion of the correct policy of solution of the Cyprus problem and to avert partition.
1. The 18th Congress reaffirms and adopts the conclusions and decisions of the Pancyprian Conference on Organizational Issues, held on 9 and 10 July, 1994, and calls on all party members to exert intensive efforts for the materialization of these decisions.
The 18th Congress assesses positively the steps made towards the qualitative upgrading of the organizational situation in the Party. Nonetheless, it assesses that phenomena of indifference, lack of discipline, “paragondism” (NOTE: the prevalence of party personalities in political life, instead of ideological principles) and lack of eagerness for voluntary contribution of work still appear. These phenomena pose obstacles to the Party’s smooth functioning, and if not surpassed these could, in the long run, affect negatively the Party’s relations with the broader strata of the people and the implementation of AKEL’s political objectives.
The 18th Congress notes with emphasis that for the successful conducting of the significant electoral and political battles that we shall have to confront, the good functioning of the Party mechanism from the Central Committee to the Local Party Group is a necessary precondition. The Congress mandates the C.C. to study and take the necessary measures to raise the efficiency of all bodies, starting form the Central Committee down to the Bureau of Local Party Groups, as well as to raise the efficiency of the cadres, particularly of the professional cadres. Personal example in Party life should characterize first and above all the cadres. By taking the necessary measures and making deep changes in its approaches, our Party succeeded in asserting itself in the people’s consciousness as the most modern and renewed party in Cyprus. This positive picture should be maintained and strengthened by continuing the renewal and modernization that should be a continual process inside the Party. The 18th Congress ascertains that in the Party ranks there is unity today, that is based on the common ideological and political approaches. This unity should be strengthened further by developing the spiritual unity between the Party members and cadres and by cultivating self discipline, respect of the Party Constitution and Regulations of Functioning, comradeship, mutual respect and submission of any possible ambitions, no matter how noble these are, to the interest of the Party and the people.
2. The 18th Congress assesses that the daily “Haravghi” has achieved a notable improvement in its form and content and is doing positive steps as to its finances. Nevertheless, we are still faced with the duty to overcome the weaknesses and shortcomings in the form and content that the paper still has, as well as the duty to stabilize and accelerate its financial come-back and the increase of its circulation.
The increase of the circulation of “Haravghi” through which the Party’s voice will be heard more broadly is a task for every party member, who must not only buy the newspaper but also consistently and in an organized manner contribute to its spreading. The personal example of the cadres is a decisive factor in the efforts to increase the circulation of and spread the newspaper.
All the bodies of the Party, from C.C. to local party group bureau must systematically and on a practical basis deal with the issue of increasing the circulation of “Haravghi” and of solving problems of its circulation. Our aim should be “Haravghi” to be read at every party home. Additionally, party members can play an essential role in upgrading the content of the newspaper with suggestions and contributions as well as by the provision of news and information to the management and Board of Directors of the Newspaper.
3. The 18th Congress of AKEL ascertains and stresses the need for substantial upgrading of our ideological work.
Our members must assimilate, on a permanent basis, the main principles of our outlook, our conception of socialism, the modern searching’s in the international progressive movement. In order to achieve this purpose first of all everybody must understand the need of ideological education as a necessary precondition for the preservation of the ideology and class character of our Party.
At the same time, we should carry out continuous and coordinated organizational efforts to plan, implement and achieve multifaceted activities of ideological content, which will give us the necessary ideological-political education.
However difficult may be the objective conditions in which we work and struggle, we have a duty to upgrade our efforts in the ideological sphere, understanding that the ideological education and shielding of our members, the preservation of the ideological identity will not only strengthen the party as a whole, but will also result in the upgrading of the participation of the members in the party’s life and activity.
The 18th Congress underlines emphatically the need to give special attention to our ideological front towards the society, where we must be in a constant counter-attack, defending our ideology, uncovering the deadlocks, the illusion and the contradictions of bourgeois ideology, uncovering and rectifying the neo-liberal and neo-conservative policies of those in government and combating nationalism and chauvinism on the one hand, and national nihilism on the other, sub-culture and indifference which are consciously cultivated in our society. The 18th Congress calls on the CC of AKEL to study seriously the establishment of a Party School and of a Center of Scientific Research.
In order to fulfil its mission, the Party theoretical and political magazine “THE NEW DEMOCRAT”, should be upgraded in content, should become a forum of searching and projection of our ideological and political positions in the broader meaning of the word, and should be embraced with interest by the Party cadres and members.
4. The 18th Congress assesses party vigilance as being a very significant aspect of party life. In the specific conditions of Cyprus it is necessary to reinforce as a Party our vigilance, which must become a task of the Party members and the popular movement in general. Our vigilance has to aim to the full information of the Party about all that is happening in our society, at preventing provocation’s and at protecting the Party cadres and the Party’s and popular movement’s property.
5. The 18th Congress of AKEL assesses that the Parliamentary Group (P.G.) of AKEL-Left-New Forces has worked systematically and actively for the implementation of the Party Electoral Platform, playing a positive and creative role inside and outside the House of Representatives. This course should be pursued further and strengthened in the next five-year period. Particular attention should be given to the duty to promote the Party policy, to the defense and promotion of the interests of the broader popular strata, the continuous contact of our MPs with the people and the pinpointing and solution of problems, the contribution of AKEL in the best possible way to the parliamentary work, the control of the executive power, the utilization of the House of Representatives’ international relations.
To achieve the targets set out above the planning, coordination and degree of information provided to our Parliamentary Group must be constantly improved. It is also very important that the Parliamentary Group coordinates and cooperates with the bodies, the bureau and the sectors of the Party as well as with the Popular Movement Organizations. We must also aim for even more timely and documented positions by our Parliamentary Group on the various motions and problems.
6. The 18th Congress considers that in the contemporary conditions the international relations of our Party must be continued and be upgraded as mush as possible so that they can be utilized in the promotion of the Cyprus problem, in determining policies on international problems and of course in informing both the leadership and party members as well as the people. These efforts must be directed both towards a geographical as well as an ideological broadening. The degree of relations with each party will be determined on the basis of principles and common interests.
We must also intensify and organize our efforts to connect our Party with the various international and regional bodies and organizations.
The Party’s initiatives for better coordination and cooperation of the leftist and progressive forces, that have been highly appreciated in the international progressive space, need to be continued and upgraded aiming at a more effective contribution in combating the New world Order and all its consequences.
The Role of AKEL in internal affairs
1. The 18th Congress considers that AKEL has responded fairly well to and played under Clerides’ administration correctly its role of main opposition. AKEL in exercising its opposition role has succeeded in waging strict but constructive criticism, without drifting to mere negation and populism. This policy is appreciated by the people. The 18th Congress calls the Party to continue to act within this framework in the future, making sure that its reactions are timely and its positions well-documented.
2. The 18th Congress of AKEL considers the 1996 parliamentary elections a political battle of a great and multi-sided importance for the country and our Party. The 18th Congress sets as AKEL’s strategic aim in the parliamentary elections the largest possible broadening of its influence among the electoral body.
The achievement of this aim would be interpreted as:
– Adoption and support of AKEL’s correct policy in the Cyprus problem and the internal issues.
– Reaffirmation of AKEL as the most serious renewed and modernized political force with steadily increasing influence, that, in the given conditions, expresses the interests of the whole people and is established as a national political force.
– Reinforcement of AKEL’s role in the consultations, sounding and processes in view of the 1998 Presidential elections.
The aim to broaden the Party’s electoral strength will be achieved:
– By consistency to principled positions both on the Cyprus problem and the other issues of concern to the Cypriot citizen and particularly to the working people.
– By resoluteness in the struggle waged by the Left in the multiple fronts of the political, economic and social struggle combined with a political approach, flexibility, far-sightedness and broad-mindedness both in our approaches and actions.
– By direct, sincere and continual contact with the people about the problems that worry them, whether these concern social groups or even individuals, though this does not mean that everything is submitted to the service of the individual interests.
– By the further broadening of our approaches and election lists, and continuation of the process of renewal. The broadening of the Party’s election lists to include personalities beyond the traditional Left, honorable people who accept the Party’s positions on our national problem, on issues of internal administration and the socio-economic policy, and are prepared to stand by AKEL’s side in a series of forthcoming struggles.
The 18th Congress of AKEL calls on all Party members to set in battle lines all Left forces as from the day after the Congress and until the elections to achieve our aim for a new big electoral victory of the Party and the Popular Movement.
3. The municipal elections will also be held in 1996. Having in mind, of course, the peculiarities of the local government elections, the 18th Congress calls on the Party to act in the same spirit, i.e. in the spirit of consistency of our positions and in favor of the people, in the spirit of broadening our approaches and our electoral lists, aiming at the strengthening and upgrading of the institution of Local Authority.
4. The 18th Congress of AKEL defines that the strategic aim of the Party in the 1998 Presidential elections is to free the country from the present right-wing and extreme-right administration and the coming to power of a democratic government that is going to meet the needs of the country and the people, as well as of the struggle which we are engaged in. Of a government that will be characterized by its consistency in the quest of a peaceful solution of the Cyprus problem within the framework of the UN and on the basis of the UN resolutions and the high-level agreements. Of a government that will promote the democratic values and institutions, dialogue and unity, that will support meritocracy and just administration and that will pursue a pro-popular and progressive policy on the internal issues and the socio-economic issues in general. Given the present facts, the democratic change of power should originate from a wide cooperation of progressive and democratic forces and personalities of a broad political and ideological spectrum that would spread from the Left to the edges of the Right.
The 18th Congress mandates the new C.C. of AKEL the duty to work for the establishment of such a broad cooperation that would be in position to bring to the country a democratic change.
Concerning the presidential candidate, AKEL points out the need of such a candidacy, that would attract the broader possible acceptance and would be committed to exercise the Presidency within the framework described above.
The 18th Congress declares that AKEL contests and demands the share of power that rightly belongs to it and is prepared to undertake the relevant responsibility. AKEL does not simply support candidates but also contests a role and a say in the administration of this country, when and if the candidate, it will support, wins the Presidential Elections.
Intervention of Georgos Koukoumas, member of the C.C. of AKEL and the International Relations Department, at the Hearing “Palestine: What’s Next?” organized by GUE/NGL2015-07-1
- Feb26 2015-02-26
- Nov13 2014-11-13