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21 June, 2024
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Non-Cypriot candidates vie for spots in local elections

Diversity and digital campaigns define Cyprus' electoral landscape ahead of June 9th polls


As Cyprus gears up for its self-elections on June 9, the focus remains firmly on candidates vying for municipal councilor, school governor, and mayoral positions, according to a report by Yiannis Ioannou of Kathimerini.

These elections underscore the fundamental role of the local level in our country's suffrage principles, offering every citizen the opportunity to engage in politics within their town, neighborhood, or local community.

Amongst the candidates, including mayoral and deputy mayoral hopefuls, intriguing qualitative features emerge. Some candidates exhibit characteristics akin to political phenomena, bordering on cult-like status. Additionally, nominations from citizens of non-Cypriot origin, notably Russians and Chinese, add diversity to the electoral landscape, with some names denoting nationalities alongside their Greek identities.

Content creation plays a pivotal role in candidate campaigns, ranging from traditional pamphlets to attention-grabbing videos and karate-themed demonstrations. This trend, inherent in any electoral process, reflects a shift towards image-centric politics, prevalent in Cyprus's post-political era. Utilizing platforms like Facebook and TikTok, candidates leverage new media for advertising, ensuring visibility at minimal costs.

While digital outreach gains momentum, traditional methods persist, with paper cards circulated in supermarkets, kiosks, and local businesses. These tangible materials, alongside roadside banners and flyers, serve as essential tools for candidate promotion, reinforcing the importance of interpersonal connections in Cyprus's electoral landscape.

Despite advancements in technology, Cyprus's elections retain a grassroots character, emphasizing face-to-face engagement, voter mobilization, and the enduring influence of clientelism in the country's political culture.


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