Voters elected Cyprus’ first district governors on Sunday, new positions created as part of local government reform.

Constantinos Yiorkadjis was elected in Nicosia, Yiannis Tsouloftas in Limassol, Angelos Hadjicharalambous in Larnaca, Charalambos Pittokopitis in Paphos and Yiannis Karousos in Famagusta.

The five new governors will be meeting on Thursday, June 13 with Interior Minister Constantinos Ioannou, with actions already in place to make the transition to these new, larger local government areas smoother.

Under the newly defined local administration areas, large sectors of services, such as licences, water supply and sewage systems, are unified.

Hiccups are to be expected, interior ministry sources told the Cyprus News Agency (CNA), adding that the best possible preparation has been made and all services are ready to address any obstacles that may arise.

Services are being rehoused and many are being brought under one roof.

Both residents and professionals have been informed that physical planning permits and the online service will both be on hold for a fortnight for the transition.

Professionals have received manuals detailing the new code of practice, so that they are uniform across the districts.

The changes are expected to make things easier and faster in a more flexible land development environment.

Sources told CNA that there were 35,000 pending applications, of which 25,000 are from municipalities and 10,000 from town planning. It was clarified that these applications were not a backlog from the transition to the new local administration framework but were already building up. Hopes are that new procedures will effectively tackle them.