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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 08-02-15

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    Cypriot Minister of the Interior Christos Patsalides expressed certainty on Friday that his Ministry, as the one in charge of elections in Cyprus, would successfully carry out Sunday`s presidential elections, as well as the most probable second round on February 24, since no candidate is expected to secure 50% plus one vote in the first round of the elections.

    Speaking at a press conference regarding the presidential elections, Patsalides said he expected ``the good atmosphere we have had so far to continue until the end.``

    Chief Returning Officer Lazaros Savvides said that, ``as along as all runs smoothly and there are no unforeseen difficulties and problems, we should have the first results before 1800 from the small polling stations, and around 2030 the final result.``

    He added that if no candidate secures more than 50% of the valid votes on February 17, which was most probable, then a second round would be held a week later between the two candidates that secured the most votes.

    The new President will be declared elected on February 24 and will be sworn in before the House of Representatives on February 28.

    Both Patsalides and Savvides said there were 515,994 registered voters, including 390 Turkish Cypriots who are citizens of the Republic of Cyprus, plus 361 persons enclaved in the Turkish occupied areas of the Republic, who will be crossing to the government-controlled areas to vote.

    Savvides explained that the Turkish Cypriots would be voting in polling stations along with the Greek Cypriots, according to the area they are registered in, and will be using the same ballots in order to secure secrecy.

    A total of 1,159 polling stations will be open on Sunday across the government-controlled areas of the island.

    Patsalides and Savvides also referred to the provisions of the law, which forbids any actions on the day of the elections that might influence the voters. All meetings, political activities, advertisements, news reports or announcements relating to the elections end on Friday at midnight.

    Referring to the cost of the elections, Patsalides said a budget of about 6,840,000 euros is available, adding that in the event that a second round will be necessary, the services of his Ministry were ready to make all the necessary preparations in time.

    Furthermore, about 8,000 staff and police officers will be on duty on the day of the elections.

    Polling stations will open at 0700 local time and will close at 1700, with a one-hour break from 1200 to 1300. If there are long queues of voters waiting outside the polling stations, the head of the station could prolong voting until 2100.

    The counting of votes will be done at the polling stations as soon as voting is concluded.


    Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos has raised an issue of moral order regarding the way Russian President Vladimir Putin`s statements were distorted, as he said, noting that this action aimed at harming Cyprus.

    The President said that ``some circles, as in the past, wait to hear a negative phrase, a negative remark, and even do not hesitate to twist clear statements as these and with glee describe them as a slap against the Republic of Cyprus and this is the issue of moral order I am raising.``

    He explained that the question Putin raised in his initial statement on Kosovo was rhetorical, aiming at being sarcastic, that is why the Europeans do not recognise the Turkish occupied areas of Cyprus or the Basques in Spain.


    Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism Antonis Michaelides met Friday with Syrias Charge d Affaires in Nicosia Nader Nader whom he expressed the need to terminate the illegal sea route which operates between the Turkish occupied port of Famagusta and Latakia, Syria.

    An official press release says that Nader Nader heard with great understanding the Cypriot Ministers positions and suggested that a high level Cypriot government delegation visits Syria the soonest possible to settle all matters that are in abeyance``. During their meeting, Michaelides underlined the need for the determination of the Exclusive Economic Zone between the two countries to enable the exploitation of hydrocarbon reserves.


    Cypriot Foreign Minister Erato Kozakou Marcoullis leaves Sunday for Brussels to participate in the EU General Affairs and External Relations Council (GAERC) to take place Monday 18 February.

    Among the issues to be discussed by the EU 27 Foreign Ministers are the European Policy of Neighborhood, the Peace Process in the Middle East, Western Balkans, with emphasis on Kosovo, as well as the situation in Chad and Kenya.

    On the sidelines of the Meeting, the Cypriot Foreign Minister will hold a series of bilateral meetings with her EU counterparts as well as with EU officials.

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