Candidacies are being submitted for local elections for the Famagusta district on Thursday, with the elections set to take place on June 9.

The exiled municipalities in the Famagusta district have been exempted from the local government reforms which have swept the rest of the country and will therefore remain as they were at previous elections.

However, the areas of Famagusta located in the Republic have undergone changes in their system of local government.

Famagusta will have an elected governor and two non-exiled municipalities; the Ayia Napa municipality and the Paralimni municipality.

The reduced number of municipalities mean areas have been absorbed by larger municipalities, with the Paralimni municipality, for example, now including the entirety of the former Deryneia municipality as well as the villages of Acheritou and Frenaros.

Municipalities are now divided into smaller sub-regions which each have their own deputy mayors.

Incumbent Famagusta mayor in exile Simos Ioannou submitted his candidacy, saying that “the occupied communities must live, they must exist, and therefore everyone must go and vote.”

He is supported by Akel.

Earlier, mayoral candidate Andreas Vrahimis was the first to submit his candidacy, saying he was “greatly emotional” to submit his candidacy, and thanked those who supported his effort.

He called on people specifically from Varosha to go to the polls and vote on June 9, and said “I firmly believe we must bring the issue of Famagusta back to the fore.”

“Our return to Famagusta will, and I am convinced of this, be the springboard for finding a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem, and we must all come together in this difficult situation,” he said.

He is supported by Disy and Diko.

Later in the morning, Claire Hadjikakou’s candidacy was submitted in her absence by Nicos Karoullas, as she is currently not in Cyprus.

He said, “we must support people who have a vision.” Hadjikakou is supported by Volt.

Linos Papayiannis submitted his candidacy early in the afternoon, saying, “whatever the result, our primary goal is to send some messages. I hope we will follow a completely different line to the one we have followed since 1974.”

He is endorsed by Elam.

Not all the Famagusta district’s local candidates will serve in exile, however, with Michalis Tziovanis submitting his candidacy to be Paralimni mayor.

He said the new Paralimni municipality will include four areas “with different characteristics”, but said he will aim to “achieve improvements in the lives of its people, as it is planned and through the programme we have formulated.”

Loukas Polykarpou also submitted his candidacy, promising “growth, quality, prosperity, and perspective.”

Kostas Fitiris also submitted his candidacy to be Paralimni mayor, saying he hopes voters will “do their research, think freely, and vote freely.”

Giorgos Nikolettos submitted his candidacy for the Paralimni mayoralty later in the day, saying he is “aware of the challenges which will arise” and that he will “fight for the common good.”

He has been endorsed by Disy, Edek, and Dipa.

Meanwhile, Pieris Gypsiotis submitted his candidacy to be Lefkonoiko mayor in exile. He is supported by Disy, Akel, Dipa, and the Green Party.