Tuesday was the last day for people to register on voter rolls for the 2023 presidential elections, although by midday only a fraction of those eligible had done so.

Speaking on CyBC television, Chief Returning Officer Costas Constantinou said that a total of 71,730 individuals were eligible to register. Of these, just 8,100 had signed up.

“People here tend to leave things to the last minute… so perhaps by end of day the numbers might go up to 9,000,” he said.

The voter roll currently numbers 550,000 people. Another 71,000 persons are eligible to vote. Of these, 36,000 are first-time voters, having reached the age of 18, with the rest having become eligible in prior elections but still not having registered.

The deadline for filing written applications was 5pm on Tuesday. People can register at district offices, Citizen Service Centres and the Central Elections Service at the interior ministry.

For people aged up to 25 years, they could alternatively apply to register electronically at the special portal (www.elections.gov.cy) by midnight.

Tuesday midnight was also the cutoff for people wanting to vote in polling stations overseas. They can apply electronically by visiting the website aps.elections.moi.gov.cy.

Meanwhile at least 17 people have so far expressed an interest in running for president. These 17 have picked up the relevant forms. If all of them fill out the forms and file them on January 5 – the date for formal submission of candidacies – this will represent a record number of candidates for the presidential elections.

According to Constantinou, all the politicians who have publicly expressed an interest in running for president have picked up the forms.

The presidential elections will be held on February 5. If no candidate receives a majority of the vote, a runoff will take place on February 12 between the top two.

Incumbent president Nicos Anastasiades of the Democratic Rally, who won the presidential elections in 2013 and 2018, is ineligible to run due to the two-term limit.