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Cyprus House ratifies European Constitution
2005-06-30 13:56:24

Nicosia, June 30 -- Cyprus' House of Representatives has ratified the European Constitution after a two-day debate.

Cyprus is the first European Union member to ratify the Constitution, following the most recent European Council, which failed to secure agreement on this document.

Three of the four major parties, namely government partners centre-right Democratic Party and social democrats EDEK as well as the opposition rightwing Democratic Rally party, voted in favour of the Constitution, pointing out that it reflects progress, improvement on past conventions, it consolidates political solidarity among EU member states and it is a very significant move on the part of the European family.

Speakers also noted that the Constitution does have its shortcomings but it is a much improved document, that emerged from lengthy debates among parliamentarians which could be a very useful tool for further improvement in the future.

The main government coalition party AKEL voted against the Constitution, saying that it disagrees with its provisions because they restrict the political rights of citizens in the name of security, they allow Europe to be subservient to the US, they downgrade the role of the European Parliament and they maintain democratic deficit.

The one-seat Movement of Ecologists and Environmentalists abstained from the vote because its request for a referendum on the Constitution was ignored.

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