Turnout for the 2024 local administration and European Parliament elections is similar to that of the 2023 presidential elections, with a turnout of 11.8% by 10am, a significant increase compared to the previous European elections and the last local elections, according to data released by the Chief Returning Officer.

Turnout by 10am was up by 4.5% compared to the 2019 European Elections and up by 4.6% compared to the 2016 local elections. In the 2023 Presidential Elections the turnout rate was 11.7%.

By district, in Nicosia the turnout was at 10.5%, in Limassol at 13.3%, in Famagusta at 20.1%, in Larnaca at 16.5%, in Paphos at 18.2% and abroad at 5.2%. As for Turkish Cypriot special voting centres, the turnout by 10am was 0.9%, slightly down from 1.3% in the 2019 European elections.

Furthermore, the Chief Returning Officer, Elikkos Elias, said that up to now the voting process runs “smoothly with absolute order and calm in all voting centres”.

He noted that the polls opened at 9am in Belgium, and at 10am in the United Kingdom.

Opening hours at the polling station in Belgium are from 8am to 5pm local time (9am-6pm Cyprus time), with a half-hour break from 12pm to 12.30pm.

Opening hours at UK polling stations are from 8am to 4pm local time (10am-6pm Cyprus time), with a half-hour break from 12pm to 12.30pm.

Replying to journalists’ questions, the Chief Returning Officer noted that he was satisfied with the turnout so far and he urged people to vote “because this is a crucial election and we hope and expect that we will have a turnout that will be higher than 60%”.

Elias also said that there were “one or two cases of misconduct”, that were dealt with effectively by the presiding officers.

Asked if there was an incident regarding a Member of the Parliament that voted, he replied that the incident “was handled with courtesy by the presiding officer, and it is something we are investigating”.

As he explained, the MP refused to receive a ballot paper, which is not allowed by law and will be examined.

Moreover, he said that yesterday and today there were very few violations of the law regarding the ban on promoting candidates. “The vast majority complied with the bans. A very small percentage did not comply,” he said.

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