NewsLocalSteps taken to guarantee secret ballot, special measures due to pandemic

Steps taken to guarantee secret ballot, special measures due to pandemic

Chief Returning Officer Costas Constantinou assured on Monday that steps are being taken to guarantee the secrecy of the ballot, gave out details on the times polls will be open, as well as clarifications on mobile polling stations which will operate on the day so that coronavirus patients can exercise their right to vote.

In particular, six days before parliamentary elections are due to be held in the Republic of Cyprus, the Chief Returning Officer assured that all necessary steps are being taken to guarantee the secrecy of the ballot, including for persons who are enclaved in the Turkish occupied territory of Cyprus and prisoners.

Referring to mobile polling stations which will operate during Election Day so that patients with coronavirus can exercise their right to vote, Constantinou said that in order to be able to do that people must first register in a special electoral roll and should fulfil certain conditions such as that they already need to be registered to vote, they need to have been confirmed to be infected and to be in self-isolation on Election Day.

Voters can find out where they vote at, by submitting their ID number and their date of birth, or by sms at 1199 using the same information.

Voting begins on Sunday at 07:00 hours local time and ends at 18:00 hours with a break between 12:00 and 13:00 hours.

The government replied to criticism by opposition parties on the welfare state and the Cyprus problem, while parties issued announcements for various current affairs such as the state of the economy and vaccinations. In a written statement, Director of the President’s press office Victoras Papadopoulos said that it was during President Anastasiades’ administration that a welfare state was put in place, not during the AKEL administration which led the country to bankruptcy. Replying to Democratic Party’s (DIKO) criticism that Cyprus is being led towards partition in the last 13 years, he said that it is odd that its President Nicolas Papadopoulos seems to ignore Turkey’s policy of intransigence and aggression.

Ruling Democratic Rally (DISY) President Averof Neofytou referred to the deadly blast from containers full of explosives which were kept at the naval base “Evangelos Florakis” in Mari in 2011 when AKEL was in power, and wondered if the pandemic had broken out in 2011 when the economy was faltering what would have become of the country.  He also had a meeting with Agriculture Minister Costas Kadis with whom he discussed the National Resilience and Recovery Plan and the opportunity the country has to turn to the Green and Cyclical Economy.

On its part, AKEL by way of a statement of its spokesperson, warned that the danger of many small and medium enterprises shutting down in the coming months is visible and added that thousands of small businesspeople, self -employed and shop owners are in danger of disappearing from the country’s economic map. He added that elections would determine whether DISY and its satellite parties would continue to be able to pass legislation in favour of banks and powerful economic interests or whether AKEL’s efforts for small and medium businesses and their future will be realised. AKEL also criticised the government of suddenly discovering the welfare state, focusing its support to groups of people who need it, because of the elections.

DIKO President Nicolas Papadopoulos said that that the government’s policy in the last 13 years on the Cyprus problem has failed, adding that “Cyprus is under the threat more than any other time of the danger of partition which is what Turkey seeks.” Referring to the economy Papadopoulos spoke of a lack of planning from the DISY government which has left small and medium enterprises, workers and society without concrete support. He also referred to unprecedented corruption and scandals on the part of the government, adding that the top one is the citizenship by investment scheme.

Social Democratic EDEK urged the government to make all necessary arrangements immediately so that Cyprus’ vaccination certificate is recognised by other countries.

Citizens Alliance also referred to the same matter and said the government’s “sloppiness has been exposed” adding that the people who have been vaccinated will have to pay the price.

Solidarity Movement also criticised the government on the same matter, pointing out that the vaccination certificate handed to Cypriot citizens is not accepted at European airports and urged the state to immediately issue electronic vaccination certificates.

Cyprus Greens welcomed a statement by Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou marking the two-year anniversary of the National Health System (GeSY), and said the system was implemented amidst the difficult coronavirus conditions and has refuted in practice those who said it would fail. The party also issued a statement proposing that specialists should immediately look into the matter of thrombotic episodes, checking especially high-risk groups and added that it would be wise to dedicate a helpline for vaccinated people in all districts to report any problems or complications so that they can be dealt with immediately.

The Democratic Front (DIPA) called on voters to trust “the right people”. We need more and better jobs, which will give every young person the capability to have a family and leave with dignity, it said in a statement by one of its candidates.

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