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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 09-06-07

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <http://www.cyna.org.cy>




    Political party leaders have expressed concern over the high percentage of abstention in Saturday`s elections to elect the six members of the European Parliament in Cyprus.

    Based on preliminary assessments carried out by their parties, as well as exit polls, in view of the announcement of the official results on Sunday, when the last polling station in the EU closes, the leaders expressed their views on the outcome of the elections.

    President of the Democratic Rally Nicos Anastasiades said his party achieved a clear victory in the elections with over 35.5%, adding that this is a percentage much higher than those the party received in the previous European elections, the last parliamentary elections and the first round of the presidential elections.

    He expressed his full satisfaction, noting that ``the result is undoubtedly a vote of confidence to the party`` and that ``we are now strong and the first political force in the country, and we have a great responsibility and a clear mandate,`` adding that the high abstention rate should be examined by all political parties.

    General Secretary of AKEL Andros Kyprianou expressed satisfaction over the result of the elections, noting that, according to the calculations of his party, the difference with right-wing Democratic Rally will be between 0.7% and 0.8%, and that the abstention of voters would be examined by his party.

    Kyprianou said his party appears to be recording an increase of 7% compared to the previous European elections and 4% compared to the last parliamentary elections, adding that the result indicates that AKEL remains a strong political force, which can effectively support the President of the Republic and the government.

    President of the Democratic Party Marios Garoyian said his party had received the messages from the results and assured it would find its way and return stronger in the next elections, noting that the high percentage of abstention had undoubtedly affected the party`s strength.

    He furthermore announced the beginning of a systematic, substantive and in depth analysis of the results and the reasons his party lost votes, adding that he has called meetings of the party`s bodies to examine the situation.

    President of the Movement of Social Democrats EDEK Yiannakis Omirou expressed satisfaction over the unofficial results of the elections, which gave the Movement a seat in the European Parliament, assuring that EDEK would fulfill its responsibilities towards the people of Cyprus. He also expressed concern over the high percentage of abstention.

    ``From our assessment so far and with the reservation of confirming the exit polls by the final official result, I would like to express our great satisfaction because our people responded warmly to the messages and the call of EDEK to elect a Cypriot Socialist MEP from EDEK, so that our country is represented in the great Socialist Group of the European Parliament,`` he said.

    In Saturdays elections for the European Parliament there was an abstention rate of about 40%, which by local standards is rather high.


    The counting of ballot papers and votes at the 1,124 polling stations in Cyprus was completed for the election of six members of the European Parliament from Cyprus.

    Chief Returning Officer Lazaros Savvides announced that from a total of 526,060 registered voters, abstention reached 213,581 or 40.60%. Furthermore, valid ballot papers were 306,325 or 98.03% of those cast, blank were 1,928 or 0.62% and void 4,226 or 1.35%.

    Savvides pointed out that no official results would be announced before 2300 local time (2000 GMT) on Sunday, when the last polling station in the EU is set to close.


    Chief Returning Officer Lazaros Savvides said the percentage of Turkish Cypriots, who registered to vote in the government controlled areas of the Republic in the elections for the six members of the European Parliament to represent Cyprus, was very low, as was the percentage of EU citizens living in Cyprus, who requested to vote on the island.

    He added that at 1800 local time (1500 GMT) the island-wide percentage of EU citizens who voted in Cyprus was 42.20% and Turkish Cypriots living in the Turkish occupied areas of the Republic only 15.66%.

    Savvides pointed out that the number of registered EU citizens was 6,458 and that by 1800 local time only 2,725 had voted, while from the 747 Turkish Cypriots registered to vote, only 117 had voted.


    The closing ceremony of the XIII Games of Small States of Europe (GSSE) took place in the GSP Stadium in Nicosia.

    The organisers followed the protocol during the first part of the ceremony with the entrance of the athletes, speeches from the President of the organising committee Ouranios Ioannides and the representative of the International Olympic Committee, the extinguishing of the flame and the presentation of the flag of the Games to Lichtenstein, which will host the next Games in 2011.

    In his speech at the closing ceremony, President of the organising committee Ouranios Ioannides said that the XIII GSSE will stay in history as the Games which have set high goals for the next Games.

    Ioannides wished Lichtenstein, which will host the next Games, good luck and expressed his readiness to offer any help needed.

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