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No recount in last year’s mayoral poll in Limassol (Updated)

Limassol mayor Nicos Nicolaides

The election court on Thursday rejected an appeal requesting a recount of votes in last year’s mayoral election in Limassol.
The appeal had been filed by the former mayor of Limassol Andreas Christou who lost to Nicos Nicolaides by just nine votes.
The basic points of the appeal were that omissions and irregularities were committed in the counting of the votes, that arbitrary or inconsistent criteria were used in determining the validity of ballots without any centralised oversight of decisions taken by different polling station chairpersons, and that these omissions and irregularities in the counting, in combination with the small difference in number of votes received by the two major candidates, altered the final result.
The plaintiff has 14 days to appeal the election court’s decision at the Supreme Court.
The court said the plaintiff had failed to substantiate the basic request for remedy, either a recount or others.
It said the witnesses who testified were not Christou’s representatives but those of political parties.
“Since they did not represent him, how can they claim there were mistakes and omissions after the fact?” the court said.
Representatives of Akel, which supported Christou, had not filed an objection during the count.
The objective behind the presence of candidates or their representatives during the count is to deal with objections about the validity of a ballot as a means of safeguarding a proper and legal procedure and the people’s mandate, it added.
It judged that the heads of the polling stations had not acted outside the legal framework but the contrary, and events had happened as they had testified before the court.
The small vote difference in itself cannot lead to the acceptance of a request for recount and the exceptional instances that justify such action have not been demonstrated, the court said.
Christou’s lawyer, Chrysostomos Nicolaou, said the decision was respected despite the disagreement.

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