The ballot paper for the presidential elections will remain as is, the chief returning officer announced on Wednesday, following two objections raised last week over the slogan of one of the candidates.
In an announcement, the chief returns officer said that, following the ruling of the attorney-general concerning the emblem and slogan of independent candidate Haris Aristidou, the documents of the candidates will be used as they were filed the day the official candidacies were submitted and “it is not possible to be changed in any way”.
“Therefore, the state printing office has been informed to proceed with its schedule and print the ballot paper based on the draft presented to the representatives of the candidates during the meeting of December 30, 2017,” the announcement said.
Aristidou had complained last Saturday that his election slogan ‘Handcuff Thieving Politicians’ was not visible enough in the space under his name on the ballot paper. It was represented by a symbol.
Meanwhile, representatives for incumbent President Nicos Anastasiades and Akel-backed independent candidate Stavros Malas wanted it removed altogether because they found it offensive.
Deputy Chief Returning Officer Demetris Demetriou who last Saturday met representatives of the main hopefuls and some of the independent candidates themselves, including Aristidou, had said that the elections service would ask the attorney-general to weigh in on the matter.
The official ballot papers for the January 28 round of the elections are due to be printed on January 7. If there is no clear winner, the vote will go to a run-off on February 4.
Along with Aristidou Malas and Anastasiades, the other candidates are far-right Elam’s Christos Christou, the head of the Justice Party Michalis Mina, Diko leader Nicolas Papadopoulos who is backed by Edek, the Greens and the Solidarity Movement, leader of the Citizens’ Alliance Giorgos Lillikas, and independents Andreas Efstratiou and Christakis Kapiliotis.