Cyprus Mail

Parties to convene anew before vote for House President

Party leaders will convene anew on Thursday to discuss the procedure ahead of the vote for House President.

In an informal meeting on Wednesday, the parties discussed the voting procedure, which could play a role in who wins the seat at the end.

Solidarity Movement MP Demetris Syllouris said they decided not to substantively change the procedure, first introduced in 1985.

If necessary, he said, “any changes, amendments, additions, or improvements, should be done immediately after the election of the new [House] president and come into force in the next term.”

The leaders discussed two issues, the order of submitting candidacies, which determines the voting order, and secondly, what happens in the third vote if two or more candidates draw.

On the second matter, it was decided that only those who drew would go to a fourth round of voting.

There was disagreement on the first issue.

“One view is to have an alphabetical order and a second view is to enter according to the size of the candidate’s party,” Syllouris said, starting from the smallest.

So far four party leaders have announced their candidacies.

According to the procedure, to win, a candidate must garner more than 50 per cent of the vote. If they fail, a second round is held with the winner needing two-fifths of the vote.

If again there is no winner, a third round is held with the person who gets the most votes winning the seat.

The catch is that MPs can vote more than once, a possible advantage for candidates at the bottom of the list.

“We will meet again tomorrow at 3.45pm. If there is no agreement, it will be put to the vote before the plenum,” Syllouris said.

Wednesday’s meeting was marked by the absence of extreme right wing party ELAM, which was not invited by the Citizens Alliance chairman Giorgos Lillikas who called the meeting.

ELAM’s absence was raised by DIKO chairman Nicolas Papadopoulos and leaders decided to belatedly invite ELAM’s MPs who did not attend because of “practical reasons,” Syllouris said.

ELAM censured Lillikas, arguing that the move was antidemocratic and did not respect the people’s verdict who voted for the party.

“We understand that at the party horse-trading table there is no room for a clean movement; that is why they exclude it after all,” ELAM said.

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