In 1975, in the aftermath of the 1974 Turkish invasion in Cyprus, President Makarios established the National Council (NC). This was a body intended to function in an advisory capacity to the President, with regard to negotiations on the Cyprus problem. Throughout most of its 40 years the Council has enjoyed the respect of the media as well as the Cypriot citizenry. However, in recent times the reason for the Council’s continued existence has been questioned, with some claiming it has become redundant. Many argue that the Council has lost its legitimacy either directly – or indirectly through its constituent parts – insofar as it has failed to contribute to a solution to the Cyprus problem. This article aims to explain the NC’s failure as a result of both internal politics and the overall declining public trust in political institutions in general and the NC in particular. It will examine the Council’s interaction with other political institutions in the Republic of Cyprus and critically evaluate the changing context within which the Council operates. The analysis is based on a framework that integrates the recent changes that Cyprus has experienced, including EU accession.
Cyprus, National Council (NC), legitimacy, political parties, presidents
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