Record elections will be the parliamentary elections in May, with the largest number of candidates and the largest number of parties and movements that have ever participated in the electoral process in Cyprus. This, of course, will be finally clarified on the day of the official submission of candidacies, which, as we are informed, will be Wednesday, May 12th. The data so far, however, reasonably lead to the conclusion that a new record will be set for their candidacy for the parliamentary office.
For comparison purposes, in 2016 the candidates were a total of 494, in a total of 12 party formations and was a new record even then. The last time a record number of candidates was recorded was in the 2006 parliamentary elections with 487 candidates. According to the register of electoral parties, 18 parties are currently registered. In the past few days, an application was submitted to the Party Registrar for another party, which concerns Famagusta and the initiative of some residents, on the occasion of the Turkish actions in the occupied city. According to our information, the application of another party is also pending.
That is a total of 20 parties. Of course, it is not certain that all parties will participate in the election process with a full ballot. But most of them will certainly participate. It is characteristic that three new parties have already been registered in the last six months. Typically, the “Awakening” movement was registered last September, while the “United Republican Party” was registered last January. A few days ago, and specifically last week, the party “Independents – Overthrow Alliance” was registered.
In any case, even under the current circumstances, the number of candidates is expected to far exceed 500. Specifically, we have seven of the eight parliamentary parties (the Citizens' Alliance participates in the EDEK ballot) to come down with full ballots 56 Members. Marios Karoyan's Democratic Party and the United Cypriot Hunters Party (K.E.K.K.), together with Anna Theologos' Independents, are also coming down with a full ballot. With these data, we already have nine ballots with 56 candidates. A total of 504 nominations. If we take into account the number of candidates that we do not yet know, whether they will come down through a party or as independents, then it is understood that the total number will be much higher.
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This of course means that several thousand euros will flow into the state coffers, since for the submission of candidacy for the parliamentary elections, a fee of 500 euros is paid for each candidate. That is close to 300 thousand euros.
According to the Constitution of the Republic of Cyprus, every citizen of the Republic who has reached the age of 21, has not been convicted of a dishonorable or morally shameful offense or has not deprived of eligibility following a decision of a competent Court due to any electoral offense, and does not suffer from a mental illness that renders him incapable of exercising his duties as a Member of Parliament.
In terms of voter registration rate, it remains low, although there has been an increase in recent elections. According to statistics from the Election Service, first-time voters, ie those who turn 18 year of age until the 30th of May election day amount to 3,114 people. As for the total of the current quarter, 2,758 people have registered from January 4 until yesterday, while until January 2, the last registration date of the previous quarter, 2,314 people.
Outdoor ballot boxes
Dissatisfaction prevails among Cypriot voters abroad, due to the fact that in the upcoming parliamentary elections it will not be possible to set up polling stations in foreign countries, apart from Greece and the United Kingdom. The head of the Election Service clarified that the issue is mainly of a legislative nature, as in contrast to the presidential elections, where it is necessary to have at least 30 voters in total, to set up a ballot box in a foreign city, however the Parliamentary Elections require the presence of 30 voters in each region, which creates difficulties in the operation of polling stations in foreign countries.