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Matt Qvortrup

Abstract

Using examples of regulation of referendums in advanced democracies, the article provides an account of the administrative framework regulating the two
referendums on the Annan-Plan in Cyprus in 2004. While there is no legal international consensus on what constitutes a free and fair referendum, a number
of conditions are necessary to ensure the legitimacy of the outcome. The conclusion for Cyprus is that in the Turkish Cypriot community (TCC), the regulation
of this referendum broadly met the international standards, whereas the level of regulation in the Greek Cypriot community (GCC) fell short of these. Had the Greek
Cypriot (GC) referendum not suffered from these perceived shortcomings it seems likely that much of the post-referendum debate about the legitimacy could have
been avoided.

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