About Cyprus

Elections - Municipal

Municipal Elections

Local Authorities
There are two types of local authorities: Municipalities and Communities Councils. Municipalities account for about 60 per cent of the population, while 353 Communities Councils cover the rest of the population. The functions of Municipalities are determined by the Municipalities' Law of 1985. Their finances derive from municipal taxes, fees and duties as well as state subsidies.

In October 1985, a new comprehensive law on local government, the Municipalities' Law 111 of 1985, was passed by the House of Representatives. This Law has since been amended by 25 amending Laws. In addition to the six principal (Nicosia, Limassol, Famagusta, Larnaca, Paphos and Kyrenia) and nine rural municipalities, the Law provided for the establishment of new municipalities. According to this Law, any community may become a municipality by local referendum, subject to the approval of the Council of Ministers, provided it has either a population of more than 5,000 or has the economic resources to function as a municipality. Eleven new municipalities were established in 1986, five in 1994 and one more in 1996, increasing the number to thirty-three.

Since the Turkish invasion of 1974 and the subsequent occupation of the northern part of Cyprus by Turkey, nine municipalities (Famagusta, Kyrenia, Morphou, Kythrea, Karavas, Lapithos, Lefkonikon, Akanthou and Lyssi), although still maintaining their legal status, have been temporarily relocated to the free areas.

Note: For more information please refer to the Union of Cyprus Municipalities and the Cyprus Union of Communities.

Municipal elections

Municipal elections 1996
Municipal elections were held on 15 December 1996 in the 33 municipalities of Cyprus. They were the third such elections since the establishment of the Republic of Cyprus in 1960.

The first municipal elections took place in 1986 and the second ones five years later in 1991. Elections for Improvement Boards and Village Authorities started in 1984 and were followed by elections in 1989 and 1994. In April 1994 there were municipal elections for the five new municipalities of Yermasoyia, Ayia Napa, Dherynia, Yeroskipou and Peyia. Dhali became a municipality in 1996.

All citizens over the age of 18 have the right to vote and voting is compulsory.

The corporate structure of municipalities is defined by the 1985 comprehensive law. Mayors are elected directly by the citizens for a term of five years and are the executive authority of the municipalities.

Municipal Councils, which are the policy-making bodies of the municipalities, are elected directly by the citizens for a term of five years. The number of Municipal Councillors depends on the size of the local electorate (a minimum of eight and a maximum of twenty six).

In the 15 December 1996 elections, a total of 315.000 voters (out of which 9.947 were first-time voters) elected Mayors and Councillors for the 24 municipalities in the free government-controlled areas of the island and for the nine municipalities in the Turkish-occupied north.

A total of 565 polling stations operated, 460 of these for the free areas and 105 for municipalities under occupation. Refugees had the right to vote twice, for the municipalities they are temporarily residents of and for the municipalities of their origin.

For the first time, the counting of ballots took place at the polling stations and this process speeded up the announcement of results.

Independent and party alliances mayoral candidates contested for the posts in 21 out of 24 municipalities in the government controlled towns and in five out of nine municipalities in the Turkish occupied part.
Seven candidates had earlier (26 November 1996) been elected Mayor unopposed.
They were:

a) Free areas:
Paralimni - Mr Nicos Vlittis DISY-DIKO
Ayia Napa- Ms Varvara Pericleous Independent
Pano Lefkara- Mr Sophoclis Sophocleous EDEK

b) Occupied areas:
Lefkoniko-Mr Lycourgos Kappas DISY
Akanthou-Mr Sotiris Hailos
Kyrenia-Ms Elli Leptou
Lapithos-Mr Nicos Evangelou

As a result of the 15 December elections, the following candidates were elected Mayor:
Nicosia Mr Lellos Demetriades Independent
Strovolos Mr Savvas Eliofotou Independent
Aglandjia Mr Andreas Petrou AKEL
Ayios Dhometios Mr Andreas Hadjiloizou IIndependent
Lakatamia Mr Christakis Violaris AKEL
Latsia Mr Christakis Christofides DISY-DIKO
Engomi Mr Ioannis Kallis DIKO-DISY
Dhali Mr Yiannis Groutas AKEL
Limassol Mr Dimitris Kontidis AKEL-EDEK
Ayios Athanasios Mr Kyriacos Hadjittofi AKEL
Kato Polemidia Mr Costas Thomas AKEL-EDEK
Mesa Yitonia Mr Stelios Markides AKEL-EDEK
Yermasoyia Mr Panicos Louroutziatis AKEL-EDEK
Dherynia Ms Florentia Ioannou AKEL
Larnaca Mr Georghios Lycourgos DIKO-DISY
Aradippou Mr Christakis Liperis Independent
Athienou Mr Panayiotis Koumi Independent
Paphos Mr Phidias Sarikas AKEL-EDEK
Polis Chrysochou Mr Mich. Stylianou (Koraka) AKEL-EDEK
Peyia Mr Dimitris Kappetzis DIKO-DISY
Yeroskipou Mr Menelaos Christodoulou Independent
Famagusta Mr Andreas Pouyiouros Independent
Lysi Mr Ionas Papaioannou Independent
Karavas Mr Panayiotis Tsentas Independent
Morphou Ms Antigoni Papadopoulou DISY-AKEL-DIKO
Kythrea Mr Costas Frangoudis DISY-AKEL-DIKO
-EDEK-United Democrats

In the elections for municipal councillors, out of a total of 384 posts, in all municipalities of Cyprus, political parties or party alliances had the following results:
Furthermore, in the seven (out of nine) occupied municipalities of Kyrenia, Kythrea, Lefkoniko, Akanthou, Lysi, Karavas and Lapithos, with a total of 56 municipal councillors (eight in each one), political parties had decided on common candidates and therefore no election was carried out.

The representative body of Municipalities in Cyprus is the Union of Cyprus Municipalities, which was established in 1981 with the primary aim of upgrading Local Government in Cyprus. This was achieved to a great extent by the 1985 new comprehensive law on local government, the Municipalities' Law.

The Union of Cyprus Municipalities has in the meantime developed a wide spectrum of activities for the protection of the interests of the Municipalities in their mission for upgrading and expanding their services towards their citizens.

Entry Date 13/2/2001