Cyprus Mail

Voters urged not to abstain

Authorities on Saturday urged members of the public to exercise their right to vote and not abstain.
Chief Returning Officer Kypros Kyprianou said on Saturday everything is all set for Sunday’s presidential runoff and urged members of the public to vote.

Kyprianou said that the top priority of all competent services is to make sure the second round of the elections runs smoothly.

Polling stations will open at 7am and close at 6pm, with a one-hour lunch break between 12 noon and 1pm. The first results from small polling stations are expected soon after they close at 6pm, while the final results are expected by 7.30pm. The proclamation ceremony is to take place at 10pm at the Tassos Papadopoulos – Eleftheria stadium in Nicosia.

Eligible to vote are 550,886 people. Participation in the first round reached 71.9 per cent.

As the election campaign officially ended Friday midnight, the two candidates spent Saturday with their families.

President Nicos Anastasiades, who runs for a second term, posted family photos on his Facebook account wishing everyone a “good weekend”.

Akel-backed independent candidate Stavros Malas lunched with his family and campaign associates at a restaurant in Pano Lefkara.

As in the first round, Turkish Cypriot journalists and international news agencies expressed interest in covering the runoff. Journalists from European and Arab countries as well as Turkish nationals and Turkish Cypriot journalists have registered at the Press and Information Office for accreditation and facilities.

Police said they will be stepping up security measures during voting and the proclamation ceremony, with more than 2,000 officers on duty.

Police Spokesman Andreas Angelides said that a crisis centre will operate in Nicosia.

He urged people attending the proclamation ceremony and those passing through the area near the stadium at the time of the event to comply with police instructions.

Angelides said people entering the stadium will undergo security checks so they must make their way to the venue early. Flares, firecrackers or other dangerous objects, posters or banners with abusive, racist, or other offensive content will not be allowed in the stadium, nor will any slogans be allowed to be put up anywhere on the grounds.

He called on people to avoid taking backpacks or bags to the stadium.

Giant screens will be placed outside for people to watch the ceremony.

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