Cyprus Mail

DISY pushes ahead with proposed election reform

Introducing horizontal voting, voting by mail, and extending the registration deadline, are among ruling DISY’s legislative proposals ahead of December’s municipal elections, MP Nicos Nouris announced on Monday.

“At parliament’s last session [before the summer recess], DISY tabled a series of legislative proposals to modernise our electoral system and increase turnout at elections,” Nouris told reporters at a news conference.

“At the forefront of our proposals is the horizontal vote, as well as mail-voting and extending the registration deadline.”

Nouris said the party feels that “conditions are right” for the introduction of the horizontal vote, so that voters can choose to select candidates from over one party.

“We believe that introducing this measure, which enjoys massive popular support, will revive interest in participating in elections,” the DISY MP said.

In addition, the mail-in voting proposal is designed to help cross-district voters – living in one district but voting in another – to vote without having to physically travel to the district they are registered to vote in.

“They are given the right to vote at their local post-ballots, so that their vote can be mailed,” Nouris said.

Meanwhile, extending the registration-to-vote deadline will allow new voters to register up to a few days before the elections.

“This clause is extremely important, since, in addition to contributing to increased participation, it is a decisive factor in introducing the rest of the modernising reforms, chiefly mail-in voting,” Nouris argued.

The proposals, he added, are now before parliament, and DISY hopes for the cooperation of the rest of the parliamentary parties to overcome the anticipated technical issues that will arise.

“It’s time to prove in practice that we listen to the people’s will, abandon antiquated standards, and proceed in a step-by-step reform and modernisation of the electoral process, first in municipal elections and then, after reviewing the results, in European parliament and legislative elections,” Nouris said.

Parties will be asked to position themselves on the proposals in September, when the House returns from recess.

“September will prove who dare, who merely misinform, and who are being populist,” Nouris warned.

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