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DISY leader defends members' vote for election candidates.

Ruling DISY chief Averof Neophytou on Monday brushed off the notion of a low turnout during an internal party vote for MP candidates or that political mischief had altered the result.

He was speaking a day after DISY party members cast their ballot for the candidates vying for the ticket in the Nicosia and Larnaca districts.

The voting concerned the remaining slots on the tickets. In Nicosia, 11 of the 20 places had already been reserved by the party's senior leadership -- including Neophytou -- and due to a quota for female candidates.

This was the reason only 5300 registered party members had cast their vote, Neophytou argued.

Under the circumstances, this was anything but a low turnout, he said during the course of a news conference on Monday.

The DISY boss was asked to comment on anecdotal reports that in the run-up to the vote certain party cadres had given eligible members the e1/420 necessary to participate.

The annual subscription to the party is e1/420.

But Neophytou said no official complaint had been lodged.

The politician made much of the fact that DISY is the only party which allows its base to directly vote for its MP candidates, without intermediaries such as electors.

The outcome of Sunday's ballot saw two major surprises, as current MP Rikkos Mappourides failed to garner enough votes, while in Larnaca Giorgos Tasou, another serving MP, barely made the cut.

Mappourides was edged out after theologian and former MEP Andreas Pitsillides clinched the last available slot in the Nicosia district.

Topping the list in Nicosia were Nicos Nouris with 2167 votes, followed by Prodromos Prodromou with 1863.

In Larnaca, Zacharias Zachariou netted 1169 votes, with Aristotelis Misos garnering 1041.

As per procedure, the names of the top 9+1 candidates in Nicosia, and the top 5+1 candidates in Larnaca, will be submitted for ratification to the party's Political Bureau on Tuesday.

At the same session of the Political Bureau, a secret ballot will take place to select the party's candidates for the Limassol district.

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Publication:Cyprus Mail (Cyprus)
Geographic Code:4EXCY
Date:Apr 4, 2016
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