Cyprus votes for new parliament amid anger over graft scandal

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Cyprus voters went to the polls Sunday for parliamentary elections amid simmering public anger over the “golden passports” corruption scandal on the Mediterranean island.

Ultra-nationalists looking to exploit the anti-establishment mood have also played on concerns over migration, another hot-button issue for the European Union’s most easterly member state.

As usual, the election will be limited to government-held areas, excluding the northern third of the island where a breakaway Turkish Cypriot state holds sway.

“There is a very unhappy electorate fed up with the political elite and parliament,” said Hubert Faustmann, professor of history and political science at the University of Nicosia. “People are fed up with corruption in public life.”

Last November, Cyprus dropped its controversial passport-for-investment scheme after Al Jazeera aired a documentary showing reporters posing as fixers for a Chinese businessman seeking a Cyprus passport despite having a criminal record.—AFP

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