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Cyprus

EU expats urged to register to vote for municipal elections

 

The public have until October 3 to register to vote in December’s municipal elections, the electoral office of the interior ministry said on Monday.

Those at least 18 years old by December 18, 2016, the day of the elections, who are Cypriot citizens or permanent residents from other EU member states living in Cyprus are eligible to vote

In Peyia, the Coalition of Independents, who have successfully elected a councillor in Peyia for the last decade, are urging EU expats living in Cyprus to register saying that expat registration is crucial.

“The expat vote will be a critical factor in many municipalities, in particular in electing a mayor and a coalition representative on the council in Peyia,” said Linda Leblanc, a Peyia councillor for the last decade. “Once every five years, we have a chance to make a difference, but we need to get the registrations in Cyprus way up.”

She warned that this may be the last chance for British expats to register, following the recent Brexit vote which will see Britain leave the European Union.

She stressed that every vote really counts in Cyprus. Current mayor of Peyia, Neophitos Akourshiotis, garnered just 700 votes at the last election to take up office.

The coalition managed 261 votes, (on a separate ballot from the mayor) which was enough for a seat on the council.

“We may not even get a seat this time,” said Leblanc, who will once again team up with David Ball and stand if the elections go ahead. “We really need people to register to vote and participate.”

Leblanc is the first foreign-born person to be elected to public office in Cyprus and the first female councillor to be elected to Peyia municipal council.

All resident EU citizens living in Cyprus are legally entitled to vote in local municipal elections and European parliamentary elections.

However, only Cypriot citizens are permitted to vote in parliamentary and presidential elections.

An EU citizen has the right to stand as a candidate in municipal and European parliamentary elections under the same conditions a Cypriot national.

Electoral rolls are updated every three months and voting books are issued by the Civil Registry and Migration Department and local district administration offices.

To register to vote a residents permit (a yellow -or pink- slip from immigration) and an EU passport are required. A photo is also necessary to be used in a voting book which will be issued around six weeks after registration; this must be produced on voting day.

The registration forms are available at a number of outlets including the Citizens’ Advice Centres and can also be downloaded from the Ministry of Interior and Coalition of Independents website.

The voter application form can be downloaded at : http://www.moi.gov.cy/moi/moi.nsf/All/96F70AC26CEDA4DDC2257A790024C558/$file/EntypoAitisis.pdf

 

 

 

 

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Source: Cyprus News Agency

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