Another important event took place on Sunday, 22 May as Greek Cypriots went to the polls to elect the new 56 members of the House of Representatives.
The House of Representatives of the Republic of Cyprus (parliament) comprises 80 members and is elected for five years. Of these 80 seats, 56 belong to Greek Cypriots and other 24 seats are allocated to the Turkish Cypriot community remaining vacant since 1964 when the Turkish Cypriots withdrew unilaterally from Parliament following intercommunal fighting and as part of their rebellion against the government. Furthermore, there are additional three members who represent the Maronite, Latin (Roman Catholic) and Armenian minorities. Τhese members have no voting right in the election. This is the 11th election since Cyprus gained its independence in 1960.
According to information presented by the Cyprus Mail, the number of voters registered for Sunday’s parliamentary elections was 542.915, while the number of polling stations was 1.136. All citizens who are at least 18 years old and registered in the permanent electoral roll, have the right to vote. Taking into account the fact that registration and voting are compulsory in Cyprus, failure to register or to vote are considered violations of law with penalties applicable, but not enforced in practice. However, out of 37.000 young people eligible to vote only 10.058 new voters enrolled. Moreover, Cypriot nationals who permanently reside in Greece and the UK were also able to vote.
The present parliament was dissolved on April 14 ahead of the parliamentary elections.
To conclude, it should be noted that the 2016 State Budget provides an expenditure of 2.39 million euros for the parliamentary elections.
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