A record number of 14 hopefuls submitted their candidacies today, for February’s presidential elections. Candidacies were submitted between 8 am-12 pm local time at Filoxenia Conference Center in Nicosia.
The three main candidates are Averof Neofytou, President of Democratic Rally (DISY), independent Andreas Mavroyiannis, a former negotiator for the Greek Cypriot side in Cyprus peace talks who is backed by left-wing AKEL and independent Nikos Christodoulides, former Minister of Foreign Affairs, who is backed by Democratic Party (DIKO), Social Democratic EDEK and Democratic Front (DIPA).
Far-right ELAM leader Christos Christou and independents lawyer Achilleas Demetriades, former rector of the University of Cyprus Constantinos Christophides and lawyer Yiorgos Kolokasides who used to be the deputy president of DIKO, are also running for the elections.
The list also includes Celestina Di Petro, Alexios Savvides, Charalampos Aristotelous, Andronikos Zervides, Andreas Efstratiou, Yulia Hovrina Komninos and Loukas Stavrou.
Marios Eliades and Christodoulos Protopapas have announced they are no longer running for the elections.
This is a record number of candidacies. In the 2013 elections, 11 people ran for tenure and in 2018 only 9.
Anyone who is a citizen of the Cyprus Republic and is over 35 years old can run for president but according to the law, he/she must not have been convicted of a dishonorable or morally comprehensible offense or must not have been disqualified from election following a court decision due to an electoral offense. They should not suffer from a mental illness that renders him/her incapable of exercising the duties of the President of the Republic and not to have served consecutively in the office of the President of the Republic for the immediately preceding two terms.
Each candidate must be proposed by one person while one hundred others must sign his/her candidacy form to be submitted along with 2,000 euros. The money is returned only if the candidate secures 3% of the votes.
There is a period of 6 hours for objections.
Chief returning officer Costas Constantinou told the Cyprus News Agency recently that 561,000 citizens are registered in the electoral lists, but this number will be finalized on January 10th.
Approximately 1,150 polling stations will operate for the elections, the first round of which will take place on February 5th. Thirty-five stations will operate abroad to accommodate Cypriot citizens who reside in other countries. Most of the stations abroad will operate in Greece and the UK.
In the 2018 elections, there were 1,121 polling stations while in the parliamentary elections in 2021, a total number of 1,176 polling stations operated across the island.
Voting booklets are expected to be ready by January 15th.
In 2018 registered voters were 550,876 while in the parliamentary elections of 2021 558,101 people registered to vote.
Presidential elections in Cyprus take place every 5 years.