News Local How can EU citizens vote for the European elections in Cyprus?

How can EU citizens vote for the European elections in Cyprus?

Due to take place between May 23-26 2019, the European elections are just around the corner.

According to the UN, in 2015, 18.2% (207,313) of Cyprus’ population were foreign-born citizens. Many moved here from EU countries.

As of 2007 (Lisbon Treaty), ‘every citizen of the Union residing in a Member State of which he is not a national shall have the right to vote and to stand as a candidate in elections to the European Parliament in the Member State in which he resides.’

In the last EU elections of 2014, 7,712 EU nationals voted in Cypriot polling stations as foreign-born citizens, according to the Central Election Service. The majority of them were born in the UK and Greece.

In most EU states, non-nationals have the right to vote for the EU parliamentary elections in their state of residence, under the same conditions as nationals. However along with a few other countries, Cyprus is an exemption.

Minimum period of residence

To be eligible to vote, EU citizens must be ordinarily resident in Cyprus and satisfy a requirement for a minimum period of 6 months of residence.

The requirement for six-month residence in the Republic before the time of acquisition of electoral qualifications is met if a citizen of the Republic or a national of another Member State was habitually resident for an equivalent time in any other Member State.

Age

The minimum voting age is 18.

The minimum age to stand for election is 18 in most Member States, the exceptions being Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Slovakia (21), Romania (23), and Italy and Greece (25).

According to the Central Election Service, people who were previously convicted for a criminal offence and/or have been deprived of the right to vote in court are not allowed to stand for election.

People who are mentally incapacitated in a way that makes them not competent to fulfil their duties as representatives in the EU parliament are also, not allowed to stand for election.

First-time voters

EU citizens who want to register to vote for the first time in the EU parliamentary elections in Cyprus can do so between January 3 and April 2.

You can download an application to register to vote for the EU elections here.

Turkish Cypriots

Turkish Cypriot citizens of the Republic of Cyprus who permanently reside in the Turkish occupied north are allowed to vote in the EU elections. Those who have declared a permanent address in the Republic of Cyprus-controlled areas are not allowed to vote.

The Interior Ministry said that it started a campaign to inform them to update their address.

In 2014, 58,639 Turkish Cypriots had the right to vote and 1,869 of them exercised their right.

In 2019, 77,000 Turkish Cypriots will have the right to vote in the EU elections. Turkish Cypriot citizens of the Republic of Cyprus can download an application to register to vote in all elections in Cyprus here.

UK

UK nationals will not be allowed to vote in the 2019 elections.

Find more information here.

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