Head of the Election Service Demetris Demetriou on Tuesday described as “depressing” the lack of interest by new voters in registering for the 2018 presidential elections.
Speaking to CNA, he said preparations would 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. Candidacies for the elections must be submitted on December 29Demetriou 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 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 4,000 applications had already been submitted. Their number is expected to exceed 4,500. He noted that they are mainly university students studying abroad.
Demetriou said the total number of voters is expected to be over 550,000. With regard to Turkish Cypriots, he said that approximately 600 were 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.