General elections in Cyprus started | free press

Voting takes place in the Greek Cypriot part in the south. A close race is expected between the conservative Democratic General Movement party and the left-wing working people’s building party.

Nicosia (AP) – Parliamentary elections started on Sunday in the south of the divided Mediterranean island of Cyprus. Polling stations open at 7:00 AM local time (6:00 PM CEST) and are expected to close at 6:00 PM local time (5:00 PM CEST). This was announced by election monitor Kostas Konstantinou on state radio. “The elections are normal,” he said.

More than 550,000 residents of the country have the right to vote. There are 15 parties. The forecasts are made immediately after the closing of the polling stations. Meaningful extrapolations based on counted votes are expected after 7pm CEST, Cypriot media reported.

Almost exclusively Greek Cypriot voters take part in the polls. Since a Greek coup d’état and a Turkish military intervention in 1974, Cyprus has been divided into a Greek Cypriot part in the south and a smaller Turkish Cypriot part in the north. Turkish Cypriots are not taking part in the polls. In the elections, only 56 Greek Cypriot MPs are elected to the 80-seat parliament. 24 seats, intended for the Turkish Cypriots, remain vacant.

The entire island has been a member of the EU since 2004. But until there is a solution, the rules and laws of the EU only apply in the south. Numerous attempts by the United Nations to overcome the divisions have so far failed.

All polls point to a race between the conservative Democratic General Movement (DISY) party and the left-wing Building of the Working People (AKEL) party. The DISY party supports incumbent Conservative President Nikos Anastasiades, who is the government in the Cypriot political system and is directly elected. The elections are considered a political barometer for the presidential elections in 2023.

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