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

June’s elections will be the first to be held under Cyprus’ new system of local government, with new roles created and municipalities clustered and combined.

For the first time, each district, Limassol included, will have an elected district governor. Limassol will also have four municipalities; the Limassol municipality, the Eastern Limassol municipality, the Polemidia municipality, and the Kourion municipality.

The reduced number of small municipalities mean areas have been absorbed by larger municipalities, with the Limassol municipality, for example, now being extended to include Mesa Yeitonia and Cerkez Ciftligi.

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

The first major candidate to submit his credentials was former Shipping Deputy Minister Vasilis Demetriades, who is running to be Limassol’s district governor.

He said his candidacy is a “sign of willingness to offer to the city and district, to build a human-centred authority, and a new model of public administration”.

He added that the people of the Limassol district should “feel that this local government organisation is by their side to serve them properly, with fairness, transparency, to bring home to our city and our villages”.

He is supported by Disy and Dipa.

Later, Yiannis Tsouloftas submitted his candidacy for the same position, saying his candidacy is “an important milestone in our effort and vision to create a new system of local government”.

He added that the new local government system will be “characterised by social sensitivity, efficiency, flexibility, sensitivity towards the environment, and a view to development.”

He has been endorsed by Akel, Diko, Edek, and the Green Party.

Christos Vakanas also submitted his candidacy, saying that abstention from the electoral process “helps the establishment”, and calling on young people in particular to turn out to vote.

He said he will fight a “decent electoral battle.”

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Nicos Nicolaides is standing again as mayor of LimassolOne step lower on the pyramid of local government, incumbent Limassol mayor Nicos Nicolaides submitted his candidacy, saying that the elections will “determine what kind of city we want”.

“We want a city which moves forward, a city which makes us proud. We want a municipality which operates cleanly, transparently, and is well-run; a municipal authority which protects the city and takes care of its citizens,” he said.

He has been endorsed by Disy and Dipa.

Early in the afternoon, Christos Michaelides submitted his candidacy, saying “there are three candidates, but two options. You can either choose the choices of political parties or my independent candidacy, which is not tied down by anything, and puts Limassol first.”

He has been endorsed by the Green Party.

The third and final candidate for the city’s mayoralty is Yiannis Armeftis, who said, “we must set the bar as high as Limassol deserves and make it a pioneer again.”

Limassol … deserves something better and we, with determination, a vision, and with a plan, will put an end to this stagnation,” he said.

He has been endorsed by Akel, Diko, Edek and Volt.

Elsewhere, Mary Soutzi submitted her candidacy for Polemidia mayor, saying, “today is a good day to give depth to democracy, to give pluralism.”

She added that Polemidia needs “change, hope, courage, and endurance because we have to fight with tough situations”.

She has been endorsed by Akel.

Giorgoulla Patera also submitted her candidacy for Polemidia’s mayoralty, saying “we will continue our campaign with political ethics, political honesty, with a clean conscience, and with dignity, as we should.”

She has been endorsed by Disy.

Andros Theodorou also submitted his candidacy for the same job, saying “I am ready to build a more humane, greener municipality.”

He has been endorsed by Diko, Edek, Dipa and the Green Party.

Later in the day, incumbent Yermasoyia mayor Kyriakos Xydias submitted his candidacy to become Eastern Limassol mayor.

“Today is an important day for all of local government as we enter the final stretch of this reform … Let’s work to improve the quality of life and the everyday life of everyone,” he said.

He has been endorsed by Akel, Diko, Edek, the Green Party, and Volt.

Meanwhile, incumbent Ypsonas mayor Pantelis Georgiou submitted his candidacy for the Western Limassol mayoralty, saying “our region has enormous potential and we firmly believe we are able to create a true jewel of the Mediterranean.”

He has been endorsed by Akel, Diko, Edek, and the Green Party.