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Mayor election recount case delayed

Former Limassol mayor Andreas Christou lost by just nine votes

The court hearing to determine whether the votes in Limassol’s mayoral election will be recounted was adjourned on Wednesday for May 10, which will take it three days past the three-month deadline allowed for election recounts.

The supreme court rejected last month a request to disclose a number of ballots but gave the go ahead for the process to determine whether Limassol’s mayoral election votes would be recounted. Former mayor Andreas Christou, his party Akel, and other supporters, filed for a recount after he lost by just nine votes last December.

The recount motion was filed on February 7, meaning that a final result must be issued by May 7. According to the Cyprus News Agency, the law does not provide for an extension of the procedure.

As part of the process, the plaintiffs had requested the documents of the election, including the votes cast for the winner, Nicos Nicolaides, as well as 434 ballots deemed void. The court had allowed the disclosure of general documents relating to the poll but not the ballots the plaintiffs had requested.

On Wednesday, the plaintiffs’ lawyers stressed the need to complete the procedure as soon as possible, whereas the representatives of the state legal services said that it would be impossible to meet the deadline as they needed better and more detailed information concerning the recount motion.

The court hearing adjourned until May 10 when Nicolaides’ lawyer is to present his arguments on the plaintiffs’ request to inspect general election documents. These are the election instructions, the vote counting instructions and the vote recording sheets.

Akel and others supporting the recount motion argued that there was no uniformity on the criteria applied by the over 100 polling station supervisors regarding null votes.

They claim there was evidence pointing to a number of ballots ticked for Christou being erroneously marked as void. In other cases, they said, ballots which should have been marked as void were instead counted for Nicolaides.

The plaintiffs did not suggest there was malice in the process.

 

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