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Cyprus

Election recount creates obstacles says Limassol mayor

Limassol mayor Nicos Nicolaides with Disy leader Averof Neophytou (third left) moments after the final results

Although former mayor Andreas Christou and Akel have every right to appeal the election result, their decision to do so is certainly an unpleasant development, Limassol mayor Nicos Nicolaides said on Wednesday.

In a written statement, Nicolaides commented on the announcement of Christou and Akel’s filing of the appeal against the election result, which landed him the coveted Limassol mayorship by a mere nine votes.

“It is Mr Christou’s and Akel’s right to request a recount,” he said. “It is the law, and we must respect it.”

But it is “certainly an unpleasant development that creates obstacles in the comprehensive effort the new municipal authorities have undertaken”, he added.

“I want to assure the electorate that I will continue to work hard for the good of Limassol and to follow through on my campaign pledges, in full cooperation with the new municipal council and municipality staff,” Nicolaides said.

“We must not let this issue distract us or lead us into protracted inertia. This would be a mistake. Everyone who loves Limassol must work for the good of our city.”

Akel and other supporters of runner-up Andreas Christou on Tuesday filed a request for a recount of the ballots cast in December’s mayoral elections in Limassol.

Christou confirmed the action but declined to comment, according to the Cyprus News Agency.

Christou, the incumbent, lost to Nicos Nicolaides, who was supported by ruling Disy, with just nine votes.

Days after the election, and amid speculation that a recount request was imminent, Christou dispelled rumours by saying he was “not interested” in seeking a recount.

Nicolaides has already been sworn in.

The application, filed at Limassol’s district court, was signed by Akel officials and residents who supported Christou’s candidacy.

The argument is that there was no uniformity on the criteria applied by the over 100 poll station heads regarding null votes.

According to the law firm that filed recount application, there was evidence pointing to a number of ballots ticked for Christou being erroneously marked as void.

In other cases, the firm said, ballots which should have been marked as void were instead counted for Nicolaides.

The lawyer handling the application said they were not implying there was malice.

The problem, they argue, was that different methods were used at different polling stations in determining which ballots should be counted as void or not.

During the vote count that went down to the wire, Nicolaides garnered 13,920 votes, barely edging out Christou with 13,911 votes.

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