The outcome of the 1970 elections was significantly altered by the shift of votes, mainly from AKEL to EDEK, limiting so the strength of the Eniaion Party. In the 1976 elections, the popular vote was completely changed by manipulation of the electoral system. Through the possibilities offered by the plurality system, the popular will was canceled on two essential elements:

  • The second largest political force was blocked from entering the parliament,
  • The parties’ representation in parliament did not reflect at all the corresponding party appeal among the people.

In order to achieve their electoral goals, three parties, AKEL, the (newly founded) Democratic Party – DIPA/DIKO of Spyros Kyprianou and EDEK came to an agreement called “Democratic Cooperation” and made a mutual shift of votes between them. In doing so, they predetermined the result and even the names of the new MPs. In addition, they formed a parliament where the third party in popular appeal had an absolute majority of seats. This undermined the very essence of elections and democratic life.

Based on the principles of the plurality system for the allocation of seats, candidates that secure the largest number of votes in each constituency are elected. Thus, in the case of a monolithic vote, the formation or formations with the higher share of votes elect all their candidates in that constituency.

In 1976 the agreement of three parties went far beyond what happened in 1970: In four constituencies, AKEL, DIKO and EDEK presented a number of candidates that equaled the number of seats: 11 in Nicosia (plus the independent Tassos Papadopoulos), seven in Limassol, seven in Famagusta and two in Kyrenia. In Larnaca and Paphos, EDEK presented her own candidates, seeking to have a deputy in each constituency.

With the reciprocal shift of votes between their candidates (the choice of candidates from more than one parties was allowed by the system), only a simple majority of their tickets was needed to occupy all seats. The three parties of the front eventually appear to have about 70% of the votes each, while the independent Tassos Papadopoulos in Nicosia also received 65%.

Even more paradoxical was the distribution of the spoils: The newly formed Democratic Party – DIKO /DIPA, whose power in votes was estimated at around 22-25%, was agreed to contest (and win) 21 of the 35 seats (60% of the total), while AKEL, with an estimated 40% of the vote contested and won only nine seats (26%) and EDEK four (11%). According to the official results, the coalition of DISY-DEK secured about 27% of the votes, but it was completely blocked from entering and occupying even a single seat in the parliament.