What the pa­pers say

Cyprus Today - - OPINION -

“WHAT did you do, and you are crit­i­cis­ing an­other?” Kıbrıs ed­i­tor Ali Bat­u­ray asked in re­sponse to the Na­tional Unity Party’s (UBP) protest at Cik­los on the Le­fkoşaGirne road, where four young peo­ple died in the flood dis­as­ter. Pro­test­ers crit­i­cised the gov­ern­ment and called for its res­ig­na­tion.

Mr Bat­u­ray ac­knowl­edged on Thurs­day that “one of the most im­por­tant du­ties of op­po­si­tion is to ob­serve the gov­ern­ment, iden­tify its faults, crit­i­cise and di­rect them to­wards the cor­rect path”, but asked: “If they were in power in the past and have done just the op­po­site of what they promised, or have not acted at all on a point of crit­i­cism, how can you trust them?”

He said UBP was the “last party in the po­si­tion to hold this protest”, since the Girne-Le­fkoşa road up­grade now at the cen­tre of the post-flood furore had been pre­pared while UBP was in gov­ern­ment.

“Did they pay at­ten­tion to the is­sue they are now crit­i­cis­ing back then when the project was be­ing pre­pared?

“When they fell to the po­si­tion of op­po­si­tion, they thought that they had left a good project for the new gov­ern­ment. They prob­a­bly thought the road would please the pub­lic and would pos­si­bly gain gov­ern­ment bonus points, about which they were sad. They even men­tioned this in Par­lia­ment.

“When leav­ing this lovely project back then, did UBP warn the cur­rent gov­ern­ment, ‘be­ware of this [flood­ing] is­sue so no dis­as­ter hap­pens in fu­ture’? No, be­cause they had nei­ther a thought about this is­sue, nor a deep in­sight about it.”

Mr Bat­u­ray said the is­sues at the cen­tre of the protest would never have been on the agenda if it weren’t for last month’s flood tragedy, and com­mented: “If [UBP] were in gov­ern­ment, do you re­ally think that they would make the firm from Tur­key do what they to­day are say­ing should have been done? No . . . if UBP were in gov­ern­ment, the same dis­as­ter would have oc­curred . . .

“If to­day we are suf­fer­ing from in­suf­fi­cient in­fra­struc­ture, UBP — as the party that has been in gov­ern­ment most — has a huge re­spon­si­bil­ity.

“Of course [Repub­li­can Turk­ish Party] CTP and [Demo­crat Party] DP, which were in gov­ern­ment in the past have some crit­i­cisms and mi­nus points, but the main por­tion lies with UBP . . . What­ever state the coun­try is in to­day, past and present gov­ern­ments have con­trib­uted, and UBP most of all.”

The writer con­cluded: “I am not the lawyer of to­day’s gov­ern­ment, I crit­i­cise it where nec­es­sary but when you blame them we will not for­get your short­com­ings or your er­rors. Do some self-crit­i­cism . . . ex­plain your er­rors, then open a blank white page . . . If you do this, trust me, you will gain more re­spect.”

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