07 February 2014 15:38

Two draft bills to promote automatic inclusion of all Cypriot citizens aged 18 and above on the European Parliament electoral roll will be voted on by the House Plenary in two weeks, it emerged on Thursday.
Chairman of the House Interior Committee Yiannos Lamaris said on Thursday that new legislation include all Turkish Cypriots who live in the north and hold a Cyprus identity card.
"One of the draft bills involves the automatic registration of all Cypriot in the electoral register after a three month warning ahead of 18th birthdays for each election period," Lamaris said.
The MP explained that individuals will be notified when they are included on the register depending on their age and three months prior to the date of their 18th birthday.
He also said that 10% of letters are returned due to inconsistencies in address listings but noted that the process will go ahead for all citizens living in Cyprus including the occupied north, provided that they have the new-issue identity cards.
"This will facilitate citizens' participation in the European elections and will lift discrimination against Turkish Cypriots for which our side is not responsible but becomes evident one way or another abroad and especially in the EU," Lamaris added.
According to the data provided by the Ministry of Interior, there are approximately 100,000 Turkish Cypriot holders of a Cyprus identity card, while 96,000 are entitled to automatic registration to the electoral list.
Approximately 10% or 10,324 do not have a listed address, while 30,000 have addresses in government-controlled areas.
The chairman said that the new legislation is a positive measure for the way in which the Greek Cypriot side is viewed, but pointed out that it is unlikely that the majority of listed Turkish Cypriot voters will participate in the May elections.
However, some critics said that Turkish Cypriots made eligible to vote gave the address of a Greek-Cypriot owned property in the north.


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