NICOSIA - Leader of Turkish Cypriot United Cyprus party Izzet Izcan on Monday called on the European Union to cancel the results of the European Parliament elections and repeat the process, after claims that Turkish Cypriots’ rights were compromised.
In a written statement Izcan said that Turkish Cypriots have a right to vote and be elected, noting however that the supporters of the status quo on both sides did everything in their power to prevent Turkish Cypriot participation in Sunday’s elections.
He also protested to the Cyprus government and EU authorities regarding the ‘undemocratic elections’, claiming that 30,000 Turkish Cypriot were not able to vote.
Izcan said that his party will continue the fight to fortify the rights of Turkish Cypriots and called for a common struggle by supporters of peace and a solution on both sides.
In response, Chief Returning Officer Constantinos Nicolaides stressed that 58,637 Turkish Cypriots were automatically registered on the electoral roll, of which 1,869 voted and therefore the claim that the Republic of Cyprus did not allow 30,000 Turkish Cypriots to vote is unsubstantiated.
Nicolaides also noted that the Election Service of the Interior Ministry took all the necessary actions to facilitate Turkish Cypriots who wanted to participate in the elections, including the operation of 50 polling stations for Turkish Cypriots, leasing buses to transfer Turkish Cypriot voters to the polling stations, issuing the ballot in Greek and Turkish and providing a translator at each special polling station, as well as during the submission of candidacies.
“In addition , for the first time the European elections’ website was in three languages (Greek, Turkish and English), while notifications in candidacy submissions and part of the notification for the distribution on voters at Turkish Cypriot polling stations has been translated into the Turkish language,” his announcement said.
Furthermore, it was stressed that paid advertisements had been listed in Turkish Cypriot newspapers and an information leaflet in Turkish was distributed at the checkpoints.
“Head of the Election Service on the Interior Ministry also participated in two information shows on CyBC’s bilingual programme Biz/Emeis, providing relevant information,” Nicolaides added.
On Sunday Turkish Cypriots had complained that they were denied the right to vote in the EP elections because they had no registered address, causing tension at a Nicosia polling station.
However, Interior Minister Socrates Hasikos said that under the law only those with a registered address were allowed to vote and that approximately 150 Turkish Cypriot voters had been turned away after discovering that their name was not on the electoral registrar.
Five Turkish Cypriot candidates stood in the election with publisher Sener Levent getting the largest percentage of votes among them with 1.05%. He also complained that Turkish Cypriots were denied their right to vote on Sunday.
Turkish Cypriots with a valid Cyprus ID card were automatically allowed to vote but an estimated 10,000 had no registered home address.