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Cyprus

DISY proposes postponing municipal elections

Disy leader Averoff Neophytou

Ruling DISY on Thursday proposed postponing the municipal elections, scheduled for the end of the year, and holding them at the same time with European Parliament elections in 2019.

The party said this would allow officials involved in planning local authority reform to take part in its implementation, and at the same time limit the frequency of elections.

The proposal was tabled by party chief Averof Neophytou during the customary party leaders’ meeting.

Voters will go to the polls twice this year, for the parliamentary elections in May and municipal elections in December.

Presidential elections will be held in 2018 and European Parliament elections in 2019.

DISY spokesman Prodromos Prodromou said the island’s constitution prohibited the postponement of parliamentary elections but no similar provisions existed regarding local authorities.

“It is something that can be done and ultimately it is a political decision, which we hope the entire political system will make,” Prodromou said.

AKEL parliamentary spokesman Yiannos Lamaris said time should be given to discuss the proposal.

“I don’t think it would be the best thing to discuss postponing the elections inside a week, without saying we will not talk about it if it is tabled,” he said, adding that the DISY chief told parties that he also intended to prepare a bill reducing the number of municipalities.

Currently, there are 30 municipalities in the Republic and experts have suggested cutting their number would help alleviate the financial woes most were facing.

Lamaris said DISY’s proposal to allow sitting officials see reform through was logical but they had to look into whether parliament should be extending the term of other elected officials for two-and-a-half years.

 

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