The island’s Electoral Service yesterday dismissed criticism by a Turkish Cypriot candidate in Sunday’s European Parliament elections that the ballot list was not properly put together.
Daily ‘Africa’ publisher and veteran journalist Sener Levent - one of five Turkish Cypriot runners - went as far as to say that the upcoming elections should be cancelled.
But the chief returning officer said in a statement that provisions of the law approved by parliament in March on the automatic registration of Turkish Cypriots in the ballot list was applied ‘to the letter’.
Constantinos Nicolaides said: “According to the provisions of the bill, 58,637 out of the some 95,000 Turkish Cypriots who have acquired a Republic of Cyprus identity card have been transferred automatically to the ballot list.”
He added: “Amongst those who have not been transferred is, indeed, one of Mr Levent’s children too. And this is because he has not provided an address…the law stipulates that an address must be provided.”
Nicolaides said that the crucial point is whether one lives or not in areas that the government exercises effective control.
In an op-ed in daily Politis, Levent argued that these elections cannot be democratic enough when so many Turkish Cypriots voters are excluded from the list. And that the Electoral Service could have published the list earlier so that those left out could do something about it.
On Sunday, some 607,000 registered voters will go to the polls to choose the island’s six representatives at the European Parliament. Sixty one runners are contesting six seats. A total of 5424 new voters have been registered – 3862 are Greek Cypriots and 1552 EU nationals. Another five are Turkish Cypriots living in the free area.
The electoral service said special ballot centres will operate for Turkish Cypriots who live in areas where the authorities have no effective control. These centres will be in Kato Pyrgos, Astromeritis, Ayios Dhometios, School for the Deaf in Engomi, Phaneromeni Gymnasium, central offices of Town Planning Department, Livadia Lyceum and Aheritou primary school.