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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 08-02-19

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    Preparations are underway in view of the run off presidential elections of February 24, with Ioannis Kasoulides and Demetris Christofias, having secured the majority of the votes in the first round of February 17, running for the presidency of the Republic.

    Party consultations, those on the winning as well as the losing side, have already been announced for the coming days. The parties are also meeting to decide which candidate to support next Sunday, following the reshaping of the political map with a result, which has refuted opinion polls as well as exit polls.

    Announcing the official results in Sunday`s poll and the run off election, Chief Returning Officer Lazaros Savvides said that 462,847 voters cast their ballots, translating into 89.62% of the electorate, compared to 90.55% in the 2003 presidential elections.

    ``Abstention reached 10.38%, invalid votes 1.68% and blank votes 0.95%, while valid ballot papers were 97.36%,`` Savvides said.

    Savvides said Kasoulides secured 150.996 votes or 33.51%, Christofias 150,016 or 33.29%, and current President Tassos Papadopoulos 143,249 or 31.79%.

    Savvides said he expected the new President to be proclaimed at around 2230 local time on February 24 in Nicosia. The new President will be sworn in before the House of Representatives on February 28.

    The Central Election Commission is preparing in earnest for the second and final round of presidential elections.

    Deputy Chief Returning Officer Demetris Demetriou told CNA on Monday he expects the final results of Sundays elections to be announced by 2000 (1800 GMT).

    Work at the Printing Office of the Republic is in process and ballot papers for 24th February are already printed, ready to be delivered to the Returning Officers.

    He said the Commission consulted with the election offices of the two winners of the first round about the printing of the ballot papers.

    The Central Election Commission is taking all necessary measures to ensure a secret ballot and that the administrative and legislative arrangements are such that guarantee total secrecy.

    There are 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.

    The local press highlighted the outcome of the elections with banner headlines, with many party affiliated newspapers projecting their favorite candidate. The Turkish Cypriot press also showed an interest in the election result, focusing mainly on the Cyprus issue.


    President of the Republic Tassos Papadopoulos, respecting the free will of the citizens of Cyprus, will not attempt to influence, either directly or indirectly, the vote of the citizens in the run off presidential elections. In a statement on Tuesday at the Presidential Palace, following the results of last Sundays poll that ended his re-election plans, President Papadopoulos assured that he would always be present, beside the people, in pursuit of the solution of the Cyprus problem that ``we deserve,`` adding that Cyprus has today favourable prospects and conditions for even better times.

    President Papadopoulos said that during my term in office and throughout my political career, my thoughts, my decisions and my actions have always emanated from my love for the country and my concern for the people.`` ``I deliver the Republic of Cyprus as an equal member of the EU with a robust economy, a fiscal surplus, with the euro as its currency, with a strengthened welfare state, with new institutions and changes that have made the everyday life of the citizens better. I deliver a Republic which is dignified and respected internationally, stronger than ever, to pursue and achieve the solution we deserve,`` he said. He added that ``our country has today favourable prospects and conditions for even better days.``

    President Papadopoulos noted that ``last Sunday the people chose the two candidates that will run for the presidency of the Republic of Cyprus in the second round of the elections.`` ``I have always addressed the citizens with respect to their judgment and their free will. It is precisely for this reason, again respecting the free will of each citizen, that I do not wish to attempt, either directly or indirectly, to influence in these elections the vote of the citizens who trust me,`` he said. He added that ``I will always be present, next to the people and with the people, in pursuit of the solution we are entitled to and deserve.`` Asked where he attributed the result of the first round of the elections, President Papadopoulos said, ``To the judgment and will of the people, which is respected, fully respected, as their judgment will also be fully respected in the run off.``

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