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Cyprus

Disy and Citizens Alliance in favour of cross-voting

RULING Disy and the Citizens Alliance on Thursday came out in favour of cross-voting, a matter that keeps coming up but always shelved by parties.

The issue was discussed at length by the House interior committee with Disy and the Alliance tabling proposals to overhaul the electoral system.

“We submitted four specific proposals with cross-voting at the forefront,” Disy MP Nicos Nouris said. It followed repeated poor turnouts at recent elections, which Disy, according to Nouris, took as a signal that people wanted change.

“We are discussing the issue of cross-voting and our objective is to afford Cypriot voters the right to select from more than one electoral tickets,” he said.

Nouris added that his party had also submitted two other proposals: to allow postal and online voting.

“There must be a radical change of election procedures, but we have made it clear before parliament that we do not expect changes two months before local elections,” he said.

Nouris urged other parties to view the proposals as a way to modernize the island’s electoral system.

The Citizens Alliance also tabled a proposal to enact cross-voting while another one was in the pipeline to restrict the term of all elected officials to two.

The matter was raised last year with main opposition Akel expressing opposition.

Its leader, Andros Kyprianou, said at the time that a voter could not pick candidates with completely opposing views.

He also doubted whether cross-voting would lead to increased voter turnout, saying there was no evidence to support this.

In the same vein, Edek argued that cross-voting could make voters ‘apolitical’.

Both parties lost two seats each in last May’s parliamentary elections.

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