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Parliamentary hopefuls submit candidacies (updated)

Independent candidate Giorgos Christophorou pledged to decriminalise cannabis

Hundreds of parliamentary hopefuls submitted their candidacies on Wednesday ahead of the elections on May 22.

In Nicosia, candidates filed their papers at the Philoxenia Conference Centre, while hopefuls in other areas submitted their candidatures at local district offices.

The number of each candidates of each group or party cannot exceed the number of seats for each district – Nicosia, 20, Limassol,12, Famagusta, 11, Larnaca, six, Paphos, four, and Kyrenia, three.

Each form is signed by four voters of the district in question – two recommend the candidate and two endorse the candidacy.

Every hopeful pays €500. The amount is returned if there are elected or garner one-third of the threshold.

In statements after the submission of his party’s candidatures, DIKO chairman Nicolas Papadopoulos said the two biggest parties must be weakened for Cyprus to have a better future.

“A strong centre is needed for Cyprus to move forward,” he said. “To have a strong centre, there must be a strong Democratic Party.”

Papadopoulos said DIKO would seek the “right solution” to the Cyprus problem, achieve the growth of the real economy, impose transparency in public life, and correct injustices.

“For all these to happen we must weaken DISY and AKEL with our vote on May 22,” he said.

DISY chief Averof Neophytou said the next five years would be critical for the country.

He said his party had three main objectives: to support President Nicos Anastasiades in his effort to reunify the island; to keep the economy on a course of growth; to push on with reforms across the board.

“The positions of the Democratic Rally are crystal clear,” he said. “We haven’t played, nor shall will play the game of populism and cheap promises.”

EDEK chairman Marinos Sizopoulos said the party’s new MPs will fight to ensure equality, and meritocracy.

The party wants to create all the necessary conditions for substantive growth in the economy, new jobs, and end the outflow of human resources through the emigration of youths, he said.

AKEL leader Andros Kyprianou warned that abstention simply boosted the “anti-popular policies, authoritarianism, and arrogance of those governing in recent years.”

Widely held responsible for the economic collapse, AKEL is seeking to rally supporters who appear appear disappointed, especially over the party’s involvement in corruption scandals.

“What the Anastasiades-DISY government can offer is undesirable and AKEL’s proposal is an alternative choice,” he said.

Kyprianou said the majority of Cypriots still faced financial difficulties and the gap between the rich and 90 per cent of population widened.

 

 

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