Violation of the rights of persons with disabilities was observed by the Cyprus Confederation of Organizations of Persons with Disabilities (KYSOA) regarding the exercise by all persons with disabilities of the right to vote and to be elected during the 2021 parliamentary elections.
In a statement, it is stated that it was found that “the relevant provisions of the International Covenant on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities were blatantly violated”.
Such violations were the complete exclusion by not providing any facilities and adequate support to citizens with disabilities living in closed structures (shelters for the elderly and disabled, institutions, boarding schools in day care centers, etc.), resulting in hundreds of people with disabilities not exercise their right to vote.
Also, the exclusion from the newsletters, manuals, announcements and information that were released in the period before the 2021 elections by the political parties as well as by the competent State Services.
Also, their exclusion from the election campaign, the monitoring of the public debate on the elections as well as the lack of access to the flow of results, especially those presented by the public radio and television, which was limited to their television “broadcast”.
Also, the exclusion of a number of people with mobility, visual, auditory, psychosocial or other disabilities from various polling stations and preventing them from exercising their right to vote.
Furthermore, reference is made to the refusal to provide facilities to citizens with disabilities for the implementation of voting systems, including, where necessary, at their request, to allow voting assistance by a person of their choice and trust.
Also, their obligation to vote publicly, outside the ballot box, in a crude and humiliating way.
Also, the humiliation of people with mobility disabilities who were transported in the hands of polling stations due to the existing obstacles to enter them, etc.
The Confederation considers that only with the implementation of the necessary amendments and the exemption from the anachronistic constitutional and legislative provisions, the stigmatizing, stereotyped or harmful to disability political behaviors, which prevent and / or exclude thousands of people with disabilities, will end once and for all. disabilities from the exercise of the fundamental, human right to vote and to stand for election.
Despite the Confederation's intensive efforts to ensure that the electoral process is appropriate and accessible to all persons with disabilities, the relevant State Services “provocatively refuse” any substantive consultation meeting for the purpose of discussing the suggestions of the movement of persons with disabilities as well. and the recommendations of the competent Commission of the United Nations for our country, the announcement concludes.