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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 06-05-19

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    Cypriots go to the polls on Sunday to elect the five-year-term Members of the new House of Representatives, the ninth since the establishment of the Republic of Cyprus in 1960.

    Speaking at a press conference, Chief Returning Officer Lazaros Savvides said that the final results of the elections are expected to be announced by 2030 local time, regarding the voting percentages of every political combination or independent candidates, as well as the number of seats per electoral district allocated in the first distribution of seats.

    The counting of votes from the elections, carried out in the proportional representation system, has three distribution rounds.

    According to Savvides, a total of 500,606 people will vote in Sunday`s elections, namely 182,810 for Nicosia Electoral District, 182,810 for Limassol, 102,715 for Famagusta, 101,095 for Larnaca, 49,456 for Paphos and 37,889 for Kyrenia. Nicosia elects 21 MPs, Limassol 12, Famagusta 11, Larnaca 5, Paphos 4 and Kyrenia 3.

    A total of 1,216 polling stations will be set up throughout the government controlled areas, 469 for Nicosia district, 272 for Limassol, 53 for Famagusta, 193 for Larnaca and 128 for Paphos.

    Savvides added that a further two separate stations will be set up for the enclaved persons and 16 for the election of the Representatives of Latins, Armenians and Maronites religious groups. A total of 373 enclaved persons are entitled to vote, 112 in Kyrenia district and 261 in Famagusta.

    According to the 1960 Constitution, the Greek Cypriot community, comprising Greek Cypriots, Latins, Armenians and Maronites, elects its own representatives to the House and the Turkish Cypriot community its own deputies. The Turkish Cypriots withdrew unilaterally from the parliament in 1964 as part of their rebellion against the government.

    However, Savvides noted that the Sunday`s elections ``are of particular significance, since Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots will vote together, despite the small number of Turkish Cypriots`` who have applied for voting books. A total of 270 Turkish Cypriots have been registered to vote in Sunday`s elections.

    The polls will open at 07:00 local time and will close at 17:00 with a one-hour interval from 12:00 to 13:00. The 2006 parliamentary elections feature gathering and counting of the ballots at the regional electoral centres, something which is expected to speed up the process, while they will also feature the largest ballot ever with 10 political parties or movements and a total of 487 candidates.


    Cypriot Government Spokesman George Lillikas said that Cyprus insists on the implementation of Turkey`s European Union commitments, adding that Turkey cannot be subject to positive discrimination regarding its assessment by the European Union.

    Turkey has yet to implement the Ankara Protocol amending its Customs Union with the EU, to cover the EU ten new member states, including the Republic of Cyprus. The EU Commission is expected to present its report on Turkey`s EU bid in October.

    Replying to a question about Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos` interview in Austrian newspaper ``Der Standard``, Lillikas for the Cypriot government the EU counter-declaration to Turkey`s unilateral statement on non-recognition of the Republic of Cyprus is still valid.

    ``We insist on the implementation of these EU commitments. The Cypriot government is monitoring the developments,`` the Spokesman said, adding that ``we are in touch with other EU partners and we have both the means and the ways to defend our national interests in the framework of the EU.``


    The Central Bank of Cyprus decided to maintain its key interest rates unchanged due to persisting inflationary rates due to high oil prices and the expansion registered by money supply and credit to the private sector.

    After Friday`s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) decision, Cyprus` key interest rates, the minimum bid rate on the main refinancing operations, the marginal lending facility and the overnight deposit facility remain unchanged at 3.25%, 4.25% and 2.25% respectively.

    Justifying the MPC`s decision, Central Bank Governor Christodoulos Christodoulou said that the Committee noted the growth rate in domestic economic activity remains satisfactory, while inflation receded to 2.96% in April from 3.23% in March.

    ``Despite this favourable development in inflation, underlying pressures persist fuelled by high oil prices and the notable expansion by money supply and credit to the private sector,`` Christodoulou said, adding that the MPC also took note of the extent of the foreign exchange rate of the Cyprus pound vis-a-vis the euro.

    According to Christodoulou, the considerable foreign exchange inflows are mainly attributed to increased residents` borrowing in foreign currency.

    He however emphasised ``the exchange risks inherent in foreign currency borrowing, especially in currencies other than the euro.``

    ``In this economic environment, the MPC considers that public finance consolidation is now even more imperative, especially by means of structural measures,`` Christodoulou added.

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