The interior ministry on Friday officially announced that elections for European Parliament and local government would be held on Sunday June 9. The deadline to submit a candidacy was set for April 24.

The announcement was published as an official decree, which also set June 9 as the date for local government elections.

Thursday, April 25 was set as the deadline candidacies for the positions of district self-government organisation presidents, mayors, deputy mayors, municipal councillors, and school board members.

Monday, April 29, 2024, was set as the day for the submission of candidacies for the positions of community leader and community council member.

The minister has appointed Elikos Elia as the Chief Returning Officer, Menelaos Vasiliou as Assistant Chief Returning Officer, and designated returning officers for various electoral regions.

The June 9 elections are said to be the most complicated in the island’s history.

As far as the European elections are concerned voters will receive a ballot paper with the candidates of the parties or combinations or independents. Polls will open at 7am and close at 6pm. Cyprus is electing six MEPs.

Any European citizen aged 18 or over can vote, provided they are registered on the special electoral roll. It is also possible to vote from abroad if certain conditions are met.

In Cyprus, a person is entitled to vote if they are at least 18 years old on the day of the elections, a Cypriot or a European citizen with residence in Cyprus for at least six months before securing electoral rights, or with habitual residence in any other EU member state during the same six-month period, provided that on the day of registration on the electoral roll, was resident in Cyprus.

To find out where to vote, the public can visit 15 days before voting day.

Voters can cast their ballot by either presenting their ID card or a voter’s card.

Therefore, if a person is a Cypriot citizen permanently residing abroad, they are not entitled to vote from abroad, unless they met (prior to registration on the electoral roll) the residence criterion for 90 days and moved abroad at a later stage.

Cypriot authorities will operate polling stations in Greece, the UK and Belgium – in embassies or elsewhere – in cities where more than 50 voters apply to vote from there.

Under EU law, all countries must use voting systems that ensure proportional representation, which means that the number of elected members from each party depends on the percentage of the electoral votes the party received.

Cyprus uses cross-preference voting, which gives voters the opportunity to indicate their preferences from the list of their chosen party or independent combination.

As there will be six members of the European Parliament from Cyprus, each political party will have to collect at least 16.66 per cent of the votes to secure a seat in the first allocation.

For the second or third allocation, parties or party partnerships or independent ballots must secure at least 1.8 per cent of the vote.

In Cyprus there is a single constituency, which means that voters across the country choose from the same list of candidates. Exercising the right to vote in Cyprus is not compulsory.

Political parties or individuals wishing to stand for election must do so by April 24, the deadline for submitting nominations. The full list of all candidates will be published once the period for any objections has ended.

The parties’ ballot papers for the European elections

In this year’s elections about a third of the parties’ candidates are women. Of the 48 candidates, 17 are women (35.4 per cent).

The ballot papers include three Turkish Cypriots. Niyazi Kizilyurek of Akel who is a sitting MEP, Oz Karahan of the Union of Cypriots who is on the combined list of the Ecologists, the Aihmi organisation and the Union of Cypriots, and Hulusi Kilim who is running with Volt. He is the general-secretary of the new political movement.

The candidate lists are as follows:

Democratic Rally (Disy)

Christos Angelides, senior executive in the tourism industry and a member of Disy’s political bureau.

Constantinos Petrides, economist and a former finance and interior minister.

Loukas Fourlas, journalist and current MEP running for a second term.

Michalis Hadjipantelas, chartered accountant and a former health minister.

Christiana Xenofontos, a member of the Disy’s political bureau and vice president of the european youth forum.

Eleni Stavrou – advisor for Middle East affairs and a current MEP running for a second term.

Akel – Progressive Party of Working People

George Georgiou, philologist, current MEP

Anna Theologou, economist, and a former MP

Stavri Kalopsidioti, lawyer, head of the human rights department of Akel

Andros Karagiannis, English and German language philologist, Mayor of Dherynia

Niyazi Kizilyurek, academic, current MEP, running for a second term, was the first T/C elected and the only one to date

Melani Steliou, actress, television producer, presenter

Democratic Party (Diko)

Three women and three men are on the Diko ballot paper.

Eleni Theocharous, physician and former MEP and MP

Leontios Kostrikis, Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of Cyprus and former Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Science and Applied Sciences.

Mary Lambrou, Paphos District Officer

Costas Mavrides, economist and current MEP

Chrysis Pantelides, MP and executive director of the Tassos Papadopoulos Study Centre

Katerina Christofidou, director of the Diko press office.

Socialist Edek

Andreas Apostolou, MP

Ilias Mirianthous, MP

Nikos Anastasiou, Mayor of Polemidia

Nicholas Philippou, Director General of Pasykaf

Vivian Kanari, journalist

Pantelitsa Yokka, philologist

Elam (National Popular Front)

Polis Anogoritis, member of Elam central committee and Limassol district committee.

Geadis Geadis, member of the political council of Elam and press spokesman

Pavlos Ioannou, economist

Maria Nikolaou, parliamentary associate of Elam

Marios Pelekanos, former government spokesman and former vice president of Disy

Linos Ioannis Hadjigeorgiou, lawyer, president of the youth front of Elam.

Ecologists – Citizens’ Cooperation

Turkish Cypriot Oz Karahan

Petros Christodoulou, former deputy mayor and former mayor of Larnaca

Alkis Papis, party deputy president

Maria Kola, party vice president

Stavros Papadouris, MP

Vaso Pellegari, member of the central committee

Democratic Alignment (Depa)

Themis Papadopoulou, the only woman on the Depa ballot, journalist and general-secretary of the Cyprus Organisation for Persons with Disabilities

Marios Eleftheriou, member of the Depa central committee for Limassol and municipal councillor for Kato Polemidia

Marinos Kleanthous, Vice President of Depa and Municipal Councillor for Aglandjia

Pantelis Poetis, formely Disy

Alekos Tryfonidis, MP and

Marios Charalambides, Executive Director of Europa Donna Cyprus and general-secretary of the Federation of Cyprus Patients’ Associations

VOLT (pan-European progressive movement contesting the European elections for the first time

Andromahi Sofokleous, Co-Vice President of Volt, political analyst

Hulusi Kilim, general-secretary of Volt

Lysia Demetriou, clinical researcher,

Makarios Droushiotis, investigative journalist and author

Nicolas Kyriakou, lawyer, and EU official

Sophia Vassiliou, research specialist.

Only three women elected MEPs in 20 years

Only three women have been elected as MEPs in the 20 years since Cyprus joined the EU in 2004.

In 2009-2014 two women MEPs from Cyprus, Eleni Theocharous (Disy) and Antigoni Papadopoulou (Diko) were elected. For the next five years, 2014-2019, they were the only women among the six Cypriot MEPs. Eleni Stavrou is the only female MEP in the current parliamentary term.