Cyprus Mail

Some candidates, fearing low turnout, flout law to send out campaign SMS

Presidential candidates have apparently shown no qualms in breaking the law in a bid to safeguard their chances of leading the country.

Complaints have been filed to the chief returning officer over text messages sent from several camps to voters on Sunday, calling on them to cast their vote for the respective candidate while polls were still open.

Although a statement from the chief returning officer is expected on the matter later this afternoon, he has reportedly expressed “unfortunately we have been proven correct,” as this was a concern his office feared might happen. Campaigning of any sort is forbidden from midnight on the Friday before a Sunday election day.

An official at the election service told the Cyprus Mail when informed about the one of the camp’s SMS said: “This is well known. The chief returning officer is investigating.”

In text messages seen by the Cyprus Mail, one camp urged everyone to go cast their vote. “Everyone should head to the polls so we can vote for… Voting ends at 6pm.”

Another one sent from the same camp on Saturday said: “… is certain to go to the second round. With our work and effort we win the elections. We ignore those trying to subvert… With our party in government we will take Cyprus forward.”

Photographs posted on sigmalive show text messages from another camp saying “mass abstention threatens to overturn the polls. To prevent Cyprus from going backwards, we must all move (to vote). No vote should be lost!!”

A third camp’s text says “we can succeed in our goal of going to the second round by voting for… The possibility of victory is ever present.”

On Friday, a text message was sent to a number of people claiming to be the results of a poll in violation of the law.

Their names cannot  be made public until a court decision is made.

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