Printing of ballots for presidential elections begins on Sunday

The Government Printing Office will begin as of Sunday, January 7, the printing of 580 thousand ballots for the presidential elections.

Head of the Election Service and Deputy Chief Returning Officer Demetris Demetriou told the Cyprus News Agency (CNA) that the ballots must be handed over by the Printing Office to each Returning Officer, between Monday and Wednesday of the week prior to the elections that will take place on January 28.

We have already informed the Printing Office about the number of ballots which each Returning Officer will take, he noted, adding that a representative of each District Administration will go to the Printing Office, in Nicosia, to collect the boxes with the ballots.

He noted that after that the ballots will be distributed to the voting centres where the ballot boxes will be opened on January 28 for the elections.

Demetriou also said that the number of the ballots to be delivered to the Returning Officers will be checked both by machines and by hand.

Responding to a question about an OSCE mission that will monitor the presidential elections, Demetriou said that two OSCE officers recently visited the island and held contacts with competent authorities, presidential hopefuls and political parties.

He said that the OSCE decided that they should monitor the pre-election campaign, the money spent by candidates, and inspect the treatment the media give candidates, and also monitor the process on the day of the elections.

Furthermore, he noted that according to a report which the OSCE officers have prepared, the Organisation is fully satisfied with the administration of the elections by the competent pubic services.

Demetriou also said that the Election Service is in contact with the Office of the Commissioner for Humanitarian Issues to ensure that the necessary arrangements will be made in cooperation with the UN peace-keeping force in Cyprus so that the Greek Cypriot enclaved registered voters will be transferred to the government-controlled areas on the day of the elections to vote.

He noted that arrangements are also being made as regards the prisoners who will vote. Asked abouth the number of Turkish Cypriots voters, he said that the number of Turkish Cypriots registered to vote is approximately the same as in the previous presidential elections, when they were 632.

The election of the new President of the Republic for the next term in office, covering the period from 2018 to 2023, will take place on January 28. A run off election is set to be held on February 4, if necessary.

A total of nine candidacies have been submitted. The main contenders in the 2018 presidential elections are incumbent President Nicos Anastasiades, Stavros Malas who is running as an independent endorsed by the left-wing AKEL, Democratic Party leader Nicholas Papadopoulos, President of the Citizens Alliance Yiorgos Lillikas and the leader of the National Popular Front (ELAM) Christos Christou.

Source: Cyprus News Agency