NICOSIA - As ballot boxes were delivered on Friday to polling stations, Chief Returning Officer Constantinos Nicolaides gave a final briefing to candidates and voters ahead of Sunday’s Euro Parliament elections.
Noting the importance of elections in any democratic society, Nicolaides said these European Parliament (EP) elections were especially significant to Cyprus as they would encompass the largest number of voters than ever before, including Turkish Cypriots who lived in the occupied areas.
They are also important, he said, because five Turkish Cypriot candidates were in the running for the six EP places apportioned to the Republic of Cyprus.
“As Chief Returning Officer with the responsibility of enforcing the Election Law, I call on all the voters to exercise their right to vote, to participate and in a responsible manner choose the people they want to represent Cyprus at the EP over the next five years,” Nicolaides said.
He reminded candidates and voters that pre-election meetings “and party activities in general” were not permitted as of midnight Friday and no political advertisements, statements and events connected to the elections permitted on the eve of and on the day of elections.
“I also request that the sending of electronic pre-election messages to citizen’s mobile phones or by other means is avoided as this action violates the law,” Nicolaides said.
He called on candidates and their teams to avoid using any other technological means and social media to attempt to influence the elections or spread rumours.
News or announcements connected to the elections may also not be transmitted unless they are approved by the Chief Receiving Officer, Nicolaides said, adding party leaders had already been given permission to make statements to the press after casting their votes.
The total number of registered voters entitled to participate in tomorrow’s election is 606,916 made up of 539,876 Greek Cypriots, 59,328 Turkish Cypriots and 7,712 citizens of other EU countries. There are 1,087 polling stations including 19 overseas.
Some 1,719 qualified out of work people have been employed for election day with a total of 7,500 civil servants and police officers also carrying out election-related duties.
“It is expected that the final results connected to the percentages won by each party or independent candidate and the seats they have won will be ready by 8.30pm but they cannot be officially announced before polling stations close in all member states which is midnight on Sunday,” Nicolaides said.