Archbishopric elections will be held as planned on December 18, caretaker Paphos bishop Georgios said on Monday after a snap Holy Synod meeting.
But by an overwhelming majority, the Holy Synod also voted not to accept applications from foreign Orthodox Christians seeking to register to vote, in a bid to ensure elections are carried out on time.
“Those who are registered to vote, will do so. Cypriots that have yet to register can apply because the timeframes allow for Cypriots to register. For foreigners, their documents would have to be examined and there is no time,” bishop Georgios said after the meeting.
Limassol bishop Athanasios was absent but had assigned Amathoundas bishop to vote in his place, who supported the change. Tamasou bishop Isaias was absent and did not select anyone to vote in his absence. Kyrenia Bishop Chrysostomos voted against.
Asked whether the decision was a violation of the charter, bishop Georgios specified the Holy Synod is above the charter and can amend any article.
“Anyone can have any opinion they want on the matter,” and specified he was only conveying the decision of the Holy Synod.
After a number of issues that rose to the surface surrounding personal data in the way the elections would be held, questions had been raised if the date should be changed to give more time to settle some of the matters.
Nonetheless, the extraordinary session between Holy Synod members concluded that elections will be held on December 18, as was originally decided.
Members of the public who want their names struck off the electoral rolls can send an email to [email protected] with their name and ID making their request by Tuesday 12pm. The subject line must be: Removal from the Electoral Rolls for the 2022 Archbishopric Elections.”
After the elections, there is a three-day period in which objections can be filed, if there are any issues from any voting centre for instance. There is then another grace period where objections can be examined. According to Georgios, the Holy Synod will most likely convene between Christmas and New Year to cast their own vote for who will be archbishop, based on the voting procedure. Once the public votes, the Holy Synod will vote between the three bishops who garnered the biggest share of the popular vote.
The ballot was expected to be sent for print by the end of the day, bishop Georgios noted, sticking to the timeframes.
The 40-day memorial service for the Archbishop Chrysostomos who died earlier this month will be held on December 17, at the Apostolos Varnavas cathedral, the bishop added.