New Political Parties on Parliamentary Ballot
The extreme right-wing National People's Front ELAM, the Cyprus Progressive Cooperation KYPROS, the Citizen Rights Office LASOK and the Movement of Independent Citizens ZYGOS are the four newcomers to Cyprus' political scene.
ELAM, LASOK and KYPROS have been approved to be added to the ballot by Attorney-general Petros Clerides. This brings the total to nine political parties and 412 candidates competing for places in 56-seat House of Representatives.
The new parties are up against the established parties of communist ruling party AKEL, the Democratic Rally DISY, the Democratic Party DIKO, the Movement of Social Democrats EDEK, the European Party EVROKO, and the Green Party.
This is the 10th parliamentary election since the Republic of Cyprus was established in 1960 and they take place every five years. Currently, the House of Representatives looks like this: AKEL has 31.16 percent with 18 seats; DISY has 30.33 percent with 18 seats; DIKO has 17.91 percent with 11 seats; EDEK has 8.9 percent with five seats; EVROKO has 5.73 percent with three seats and the Green Party has 1.95 percent with one seat. Seven of the 56 seats are held by women MPs; three from AKEL, two from DISY, one from DIKO and one from EDEK.
AKEL leads a coalition with DIKO which used to include EDEK before it left, citing differences in principles over Cyprus reunification talks. There has been speculation that DISY could join forces with EDEK amid opinion polls tipping DISY as hot favourites in the elections.
Members of the public who have questions about parliamentary elections on May 22nd can call a new information service as of May 9th.
The telephone numbers are: 22-867614 / 22-867713 / 22-867714. Greek-speakers can visit http://www.elections2011.gov.cy for more information.