This year's Cypriot participation in the Eurovision Song Contest has already courted much controversy on the integrity of the songs in its selection. Now, it seems, the contest is having a direct effect on national politics in the country.
Officials in the Cypriot administration have been forced to rule out parliamentary elections planned for 21st May on the island due to a clash with the weekend of the contest. It is feared that the mass exodus of Cypriot fans to Athens for the first Greek Eurovision Song Contest will create a voter vacuum. Daily newspaper Politis is quoted as claiming that the general public would choose Helena hands down over politics. A date of 14th May is now being suggested as a more appropriate date for elections.
The contest is particularly popular amongst Greek Cypriot viewers, with some 86% of the TV viewership tuning in to watch the 2005 contest. Helena Paparizou's victory in Kyiv brought the contest to Greek soil for the first time in 31 years of Greek participation.