Interior Minister Nicos Nouris said on Sunday that any problems arising from a ruling by the attorney-general that parties can only use their registered names for the upcoming parliamentary elections must be resolved within the coming week.

According to the ruling, parties or combinations can only register for the elections under the name registered in the political parties registry and nothing else.

In cases parties cooperate with an organised group that is not registered as a political party, or with independent candidates, the combination will be considered part of the registered entity, it said. Thus, the name of the combination or of the independent candidates cannot be used separately from that of the registered party, the ruling said.

Nouris, who was in Paphos for a meeting with leaders of remote communities to present to them the new housing schemes and incentives for young couples, said that a number of problems have arisen after the Law Office’s ruling on the names of parties ahead of the May elections.

He said that his ministry turned to the attorney-general for advice on the matter after a number of questions submitted by parties that had asked to register for the election under specific names.

“The response of the Legal Service was very clear,” Nouris said, pointing out that the law should be strictly implemented. He added that any problems caused by this must be resolved with the coming week before the ballot papers are prepared.

The ruling affects several parties that are running under combination names.

Main opposition Akel reacted strongly to this ruling, arguing that it has been running under the name Akel-Left wing-New Forces in the past 16 elections.

Akel leader Andros Kyprianou told state broadcaster CyBC on Saturday that this ruling was “unacceptable” and “wrong”. He said his party will use the same name it has been using for the past 16 elections.

The Animal Party, on the other hand, welcomed the ruling, citing “disinformation” by the Independents Movement who are running in cooperation with the Hunters’ Movement. The combination is running under ‘Independents Movement-Cooperation KEKK (Movement of United Cypriot Hunters)’.

The Animal Party had argued that the non-registered Independents Movement was using the Hunters’ Movement which is a registered party to run in the elections which was against the rules. It said that voters were deceived because by voting the Independents they would in fact be voting for the hunters’ party.