04 April 2014 16:28

A total of 5424 new voters have registered to vote in the European Parliament elections on May 25,  head of Elections Service Demetris Demetriou said yesterday.
The deadline was last Wednesday. There were 3862  new registrations by Greek Cypriots, 1552 by EU nationals and  five by Turkish Cypriots living in the free area, he added.
"The number of overseas Cypriots interested in casting a vote rose to 6316," he also said.
"We will have at least 13 overseas polling stations in a total of three countries - Greece, Britain and Belgium," he added.
Today, the official list of new registrations will be posted at local municipalities and district offices for any possible objections. It will stay there for 10 days.
For those interested voters at overseas centres where the number of registrations was less than 150 - the minimum set by the Interior Ministry - alternatives are under review.
"We are going to review all alternative solutions, we won't ignore interested voters," Demetriou said.
Last month, Interior Minister Socrates Hasikos sounded a warning over anticipated alarmingly high abstention figures.
After a meeting with political party representatives, he said that political parties and the government should try hard to raise the interest of overseas Cypriot voters who seem indifferent to the elections.
As for Turkish Cypriots casting a vote in May following approval of an amended elections bill providing for their automatic registration, the minister said ballot booths would be set up near checkpoints.
There are some 95.000 Turkish Cypriots holding Republic of Cyprus ID cards which allows them to automatically register. This potentially paves the way for them to elect two MEPs if they choose to participate.
And if they give up efforts to gain observer status in the EP - a gesture signaling recognition of the breakaway 'state' in the occupied north.
Cyprus elects six members at the European Parliament and the electoral system is based on proportional representation.
The overall number of registered voters is now close to 552,500 of whom 6,500 are EU nationals - based on the numbers who voted back in the 2011 municipal elections.


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