Head of Election Service disappointed with low interest of new voters to register

Head of the Election Service Demetris Demetriou has described “depressing” the picture regarding the interest of new voters to register in the electoral roll, in view of the 2018 presidential elections.

Speaking to CNA, he said preparations for the elections will intensify as of next week. The elections will be proclaimed on December 15, with a decree by the Interior Minister that will be published in the Official Gazette.

Demetriou told CNA that a total of 3,591 applications were submitted by new voters by Tuesday morning, while the total number of new voters is approximately 40,000.

The last day to register with the electoral roll is December 18. Demetriou said that during previous presidential elections, half of the new voters, who amounted to 16,000, were registered during the last week before the deadline was due to expire. He expressed hope that the current picture as regards the new voters interest to register will change during the last week before the deadline expires.

With regard to the submission of applications from Cypriot nationals who want to vote abroad, for which the deadline also expires on December 18, Demetriou said that 4000 applications have already been submitted. Their number is expected to exceed 4,500. He noted that they are mainly university students studying abroad.

Demetriou also said that preparations for the elections will intensify as of next week since their proclamation will take place on December 15. He recalled that candidacies for the elections will be submitted on December 29, noting that the next day a ballot paper sample will be ready to be examined with party representatives, so that the ballot papers printing will begin at the beginning of January.

The Head of the Election Service said that the total number of voters is expected to be over 550 thousand. With regard to Turkish Cypriots he said that approximately 600 are already registered voters, adding that 14 Turkish Cypriots have applied to be registered as new voters.

The presidential elections will take place on January 28, 2018. A run off election is set to take place on February 4, 2018, if necessary.

Source: Cyprus News Agency