Cyprus Mail

DISY makes call for complete electoral reform

DISY MP Nicos Tornaritis

Ruling party DISY is calling for a complete overhaul to electoral legislation, including raising the electoral bar and holding joint elections for parliament and municipalities, according to party MP Nicos Tornaritis.

Following a meeting with a delegation from the Transparency Now NGO – which advocates complete transparency in politics and party funding – Tornaritis told the press that reforming electoral legislation has long been the position of the party.

“It’s not right that we hold elections every few months. Municipal and parliamentary elections should be held together,” said Tornaritis.

The next parliamentary elections are scheduled for 2016, along with the municipal elections.

Tornaritis added that DISY supported cross-party voting, as well as raising the electoral bar. Currently 1.8 per cent of the vote is enough for a party to claim a seat in parliament. DISY wants to raise the bar to 5 per cent – which will leave out the Green Party, Citizen’s Alliance and EVROKO – although Tornaritis clarified that the party is open to suggestions and ideas.

The DISY MP claimed that raising the electoral bar will reinforce democracy and that 18 EU countries have a 5 per cent rule already in place.

Party leader Averof Neofytou is currently in the middle of a campaign to try and convince parliamentary parties on the need to reform electoral legislation.

Averof has wrapped up meetings with party leaders and is expected to introduce amendments to the House after the summer recess.

Representative of Transparency Now Stelios Kythreotis said a committee will be set up to discuss broad electoral reform, with representatives from all parties.

“Citizens should have a say in politics and in how the election system is set up. Our aim is to ensure maximum transparency,” Kythreotis said.

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