Political parties intensified their efforts to gain the support of voters on Tuesday ahead of the parliamentary elections, in Cyprus, next Sunday.
Election authorities received 600,000 ballots, which will be distributed to the 1,176 polling stations on Friday, while 6,000 will be sent to polling stations abroad. Consultations also took place with the UN so that enclaved living in the Turkish occupied areas of the Republic, who will cross to the areas under government control to vote will not have to spent ten days afterwards in self -isolation.
Chief Returning Officer Costas Constantinou clarified all the measures which will be in place at polling stations during Election Day to contain the spread of the coronavirus. People working in and entering polling stations will have to wear a protective face mask, they should have a Safe Test and they should disinfect their hands before entering.
On Election Day and the day before it will be prohibited to show in public any posters or signs which are directly or indirectly related with the elections.
Ministers of Finance Constantinos Petrides and Labour Zeta Emiliniades replied to Democratic Party President Nicolas Papadopoulos’ criticism, saying that he is conducting a “daily misinformation campaign” on the handling of the pandemic. On his part, Director of the President’s press office Victoras Papadopoulos called opposition AKEL to tell the Cypriot people whether it will contribute constructively in the effort to implement reforms so that the recovery plan’s goals can be achieved or whether it will continue a sterile, toxic and negative opposition and vote against everything.
Ruling Democratic Rally (DISY) President Averof Neofytou said that any party followers who choose to vote smaller parties to express their dissatisfaction would indirectly boost AKEL and DIKO in their effort to lay the foundation in order to return to power and implement the policies of 2008 – 2013. These parties, he said, wish for a parliament which would be like a Tower of Babel and become an obstacle to any positive steps for the country.
AKEL called on its voters to send the Anastasiades – DISY government a “loud message” for the deadlocks it has caused and all the negatives and dangers it has amassed and to support the prospect of a progressive change which is what the country and society need. The party also urged the government to assume its responsibilities and guarantee that children will be vaccinated adequately and on time. AKEL also expressed agreement with a declaration by environmental organisations for the protection of Akamas and released a statement of support of the party by 40 veteran footballers.
DIKO President Nicolas Papadopoulos expressed his conviction that everyone who tries to weaken the party by “slander, insult and mud – slinging” will fail because they will be faced with the greatest part of society and citizens who are not trapped in bipartisanship and are “seeking change.” In reply to the Ministers statement about misinformation on its part DIKO called on them to explain why the European Commission projects that Cyprus will have the 6th worst growth rate in Europe in 2021.
Social Democratic EDEK expressed disappointment on the double standard policy by the EU and the European Council which has immediately imposed sanctions on Belarus for a second time but has not shown the same sensitivity in the case of Cyprus and repeated Turkish provocations.
Referring to the same matter the Solidarity Movement said that Cyprus should immediately ask for an embargo of European flights over Turkey’s airspace. It also called for an immediate ban in administering the AstraZeneca vaccine against COVID-19 to women between the ages of 20 and 45.
Cyprus Greens presented on Tuesday their candidates for Limassol district. The party also welcomed the “very late” government announcement for a turn to green growth in the context of the available funds from the European Recovery Fund.
Democratic Front (DIPA) leader Marios Garoyian presented the party’s policy on environment and sustainable growth. He noted that the planet is approaching a point of no return and outlined a road map of 10 proposals, pointing out that humanity’s prosperity is crucially based on environmental protection.
In the meantime, all parties expressed their sadness over the tragic death of a member of the National Guard during an exercise and called for the matter to be investigated in depth, with authorities also pledging that this will be done.