Cypriots go to the polls to elect their President

Cypriots go to the polls today, at home and at designated polling stations abroad, to elect the President of the Republic for the next term in office, covering the period from 2018 to 2023.

In the run off election, incumbent President Nicos Anastasiades and Stavros Malas are the two candidates who are seeking the mandate to run the country for the next five years. Anastasiades is backed by the ruling Democratic Rally (DISY) party and Malas by the main opposition AKEL party. Political parties which last Sunday supported other presidential hopefuls have called on the party faithful not to vote for either candidate whereas various organized groups, movements and associations have urged their members to back one or the other of the two candidates or vote at will.

Polling stations open at 0700 hours (0500 GMT) and voting concludes at 1800 hours (1600 GMT). A break of one hour will take place at 12.00 hours (1000 GMT).

Votes will be counted at polling stations, as soon as voting ends, at 18.00 local time.

The first results from small polling stations are expected soon after polls close, while the final results are expected to be announced by 1930 local time (1730 GMT) on Sunday.

The proclamation ceremony will take place on Sunday evening, at 2200 local time (2000 GMT) at the Tassos Papadopoulos � Eleftheria stadium, in Nicosia.

A total of 550,876 are registered to vote. This includes 657 Turkish Cypriot voters and 283 Greek Cypriots who are enclaved in the northern Turkish occupied area of the island, divided since the Turkish invasion of 1974.

According to figures released by the Central Electoral Service, 11,683 voters are entitled to vote in one of 38 polling stations, which will operate in 15 countries abroad.

Approximately 1,000 unemployed graduates will be employed at polling stations in Cyprus. In total, 7,500 public servants and police officers will be on duty today.

The largest constituency is Nicosia with 213,033 voters, followed by Limassol with 152,115, Larnaca with 92,795, Paphos 49,765, Famagusta with 31,485, while 11,683 will vote abroad.

There will be a total of 1,122 polling stations in Cyprus and abroad.

Voting abroad will take place as follows: (hours provided are local time) Greece: 7:00 am � 6:00 pm with a break from 12.00 � 1:00pm, Sofia 7:00 am � 6:00 pm with a break from 12.00 � 1:00pm, the UK 8:00am � 4:00 pm with a break from 12 � 12:30 pm, Berlin, Vienna and Brussels from 9:00 am� 5:00pm with an hour break 1.00� 2:00 pm, Manama 10:00am- 7:00pm with an hour break 2:00� 3:00 pm, New York 7:00 am � 11:00am, Dubai 11:00 am � 8:00 pm with a break from 3:00. � 4:00pm, Riyadh also from 10:00am- 7:00pm with an hour break 2:00� 3:00 pm, Doha 10:00am- 7:00pm with an hour break 2:00� 3:00 pm, Stockholm, The Hague, Paris and Prague from 9:00 am� 5:00pm with an hour break 1.00� 2:00 pm.

The inauguration of the new President will be held before the House of Representatives during an extraordinary session, which will take place on 28 February 2018.

It is estimated that the cost of the elections will be Euros 4.5 million.

Source: Cyprus News Agency