Voter turnout lower than previous election just a few hours before polls

first_imgAt just over 50 per cent, turnout by 3pm in Sunday’s first round of presidential elections was over 10 per cent lower than those held in 2013 data released by the chief returning officer showed.While in 2013, by 3pm 61.35 per cent of people had voted, this year 50.9 per cent had turned up to pick their candidate.It remains to be seen to what extent the margin of 10.45 per cent difference will be bridged before polls close at 6pm.The highest abstention rates on Sunday compared to five years ago were in Larnaca and Limassol at 13.7 per cent.This was followed by Famagusta with 11.6 per cent fewer voters compared to five years ago.Apparent disinterest was prevalent across the country. In Paphos by 3pm in 2013, some 61.5 per cent had voted while on Sunday it stood at 53 per cent had cast their ballot translating into a 8.5 per cent drop.Nicosia fell by 7.9 per cent while there has been just over 4 per cent increase in Sunday’s number of voters so far compared to the 2016 parliamentary elections which had by 3pm seen a 46.4 per cent turnout.Figures from polling stations abroad remained steady at 40 per cent abroad reflecting the same turnout as 2013.The voter turnout and the relevant percentages of previous elections are:Presidential elections 2018Presidential elections 2013Parliamentary elections 2016Nicosia53,4%61,3%46%Limassol48,3%62,0%47%Famagusta50%61,6%45%Larnaca50%63,7%45%Paphos53%61,5%49%Overseas40%40%39%The numbers explain why presidential hopefuls and party leaders found common ground on Sunday in their similar speeches appealing to the masses to cast their vote in an election that has been dogged by disinterest and fears of high voter abstention.Lacking much originality, the common theme between all nine candidates was that the people held the power and would decide the future of the state and ‘the next day’ after the elections that would ‘find us all unified’.Surrounded by his wife and grandchildren, incumbent President Nicos Anastasiades, voting from his home town Limassol, said the day was a “celebration of democracy” and political rivals were not those seeking the presidency but the problems the people faced that “require unity, cooperation, seriousness and proper planning.”Akel backed independent Stavros Malas appeared on camera with his wife, casting his vote and stated this was the time for the public to judge those who did not underestimate their intelligence.“They have heard us, seen us, compared us and now is the time to judge us,” he said.  The public should vote independently of their ideological beliefs and vote for their future, he added.Diko leader Nicolas Papadopoulos also with his family said Sunday’s protagonists were not the candidates but the citizens “whose decision on who to vote will determine the course of our country.”Papadopoulos is backed by the Green Party, Edek and the Solidarity Movement.Giorgos Lillikas, Citizens’ Alliance leader said he hoped the elections would not be marred by high abstention rate. “Our vote will determine tomorrow…and the future of the country.”Elam head Christos Christou echoed the comments calling on the public to practise “the holy right of voting,” while presidential hopeful Andreas Efstratiou said he was next to the poor people, wishing everyone good health and happiness.Independent Haris Aristidou meanwhile called politicians lying thieves that lived in luxury while people suffered.Justice Party leader Michalis Minas called on the young to leave cafes for an hour and exercise the right to vote and bring about change. Presidential hopeful Christakis Kapiliotis said “only God and the people of Cyprus can save the country with their vote.”He added he had very little time to work towards his elections as he was taken up with his work and only started campaigning a month ago.The fact that he presented his views on the Cyprus problem and economic situation were a victory and his views should be taken into account by whoever is elected and include independent candidates in his Cabinet.Abstention has been the highlight of the day with turnout reaching 30.2 per cent by midday. During the 2013 presidential elections, turnout was at 38.9 per cent at the same time.House President Demetris Syllouris was possibly the only person that saw Sunday’s election process with optimism saying it had been carried out with calmness and dignity that “illustrated Cyprus’ transformation into a European state.”Former President George Vassiliou however saw a different picture saying that the campaign so far had been marred by populism that people had seen through. “I appeal to the public to vote because these elections are for their future. We must all realise that the future belongs to the youth but a divided country is not a future.”Archbishop Chrysostomos pledged the church’s support to whoever was elected while former President Demetris Christofias said a fascistic coup led to today’s situation.  [smart-photo][/smart-photo]You May LikePopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoDr. Marty ProPower Plus Supplement3 Dangerous Foods People Feed Their Dogs (Without Realizing It)Dr. Marty ProPower Plus SupplementUndoKelley Blue Book10 Electric Cars That Last the LongestKelley Blue BookUndo Turkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoConcern over falling tourism numbersUndoAuthorities release five of 12 Israeli rape suspects, seven due in court FridayUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img

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