Their country’s future as a eurozone member hanging in the balance, Cypriots voted on Sunday to elect a new president, with the pro-bailout conservative leader, Nicos Anastasiades, securing the biggest backing with 45.4% of the vote. Anastasiades is set to face a runoff next week after failing to gain enough support for an outright win. However, he is seen as the overwhelming favourite in that contest, against the communist-backed independent, Stavros Malas, who took 26.9% of the vote. The vote for Anastasiades and his DISY party is an endorsement of the pro-bailout policies advocated by a man who will face the arduous task of finalising a €17bn (£14.6bn) rescue package with the European Union and the International Monetary Fund to keep the country’s economy afloat. Last year Cyprus became the fifth eurozone state to ask for a bailout.
Articles about voting issues in the Republic of Cyprus.
Evagoras Georgiou will go to the polling station at the Tsireio middle school in the St. John neighborhood here for Sunday’s presidential election. But he will leave his ballot blank, voting for neither of the two candidates in the runoff for Cyprus’s most powerful political office. Both candidates have promised to abide by a deal with international lenders that promises to help the country service its debts but that will bring harsh austerity and recession with it. Mr. Georgiou, 28, studied business management in Britain and returned almost a year ago to look for work. He has yet to find a job and says he believes that a deal with the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund — known collectively as the troika — will only make matters worse. “They both have the same policies but find a way to make the public believe they disagree,” Mr. Georgiou said of the two candidates. “We see that any country with a troika agreement is ridden with debt and has high unemployment of youth.”
Cyprus: Hacker attempts on Cyprus Interior Ministry computers – Election official | Famagusta Gazette
Chief Returning Office Andreas Assiotis has said that there had been attempts over the past 48 hours to tamper with the electronic systems of the Ministry of the Interior. He noted that the measures taken and the means at the disposal of the Ministry of the Interior effectively prevented any serious problems. Assiotis assured that voting was running smoothly.
The government’s IT systems withstood a cyber attack which attempted to block the release of election results on Sunday.
Authorities were on alert throughout election day after a group of hackers threatened to disrupt the elections by targeting state websites. A video posted on Saturday on the Internet by a group claiming to be the Cyprus branch of ‘Anonymous’ called on sympathisers to launch the attack at exactly 6pm on Sunday – the designated deadline for the start of the ballot count. Interior Ministry officials claim that these sorts of attacks happen sporadically, while police re-assured the public that it would be extra vigilant during the run-up to the second round of elections this coming Sunday. “There was a DDOS (distributed denial of service) attack, also known as a cyber attack on Sunday, in an attempt to prevent the interior ministry from showing the results but also unauthorised attempts to reach other sites that were related to the elections,” chief official for the Department of Information Technology Services (DITS), Andreas Kyprianou said.
Cyprus: Runoff will be held in Cyprus’ presidential election between top 2 candidates | The Washington Post
Cyprus heads into a runoff presidential election next weekend, with voters called on to select who will lead the country through a severe financial crisis after no candidate won an outright majority in Sunday’s vote. Nicos Anastasiades, a right-winger who presented himself as the most capable to negotiate a bailout with Cyprus’ European partners and who went into the election a strong favorite, won the first round with just over 45 percent of the vote. But he fell short of the 50 percent plus one vote needed for an outright victory. In the Feb. 24 runoff, he will face Stavros Malas, a left-winger who has advocated being more assertive in negotiations for bailout loans to limit the severity of austerity measures they require. Final results Sunday night showed Anastasiades winning 45.46 percent, well ahead of Malas’ 26.91. Independent Giorgos Lallikas was a close third with 24.93 percent, and was eliminated from the running.
Cypriots head to the polls Sunday to elect a new president who will be tasked with unblocking an increasingly thorny, multibillion-euro bailout needed to rescue the island’s teetering banking system and a cash-strapped government reeling from Greece’s economic crash. Public-opinion polls show conservative leader Nicos Anastasiades, head of the center-right Democratic Rally, or Disy, party, is expected to top a three-way race for president with about 40% of Sunday’s vote. If no candidate gets 50%, a runoff would take place a week later. Mr. Anastasiades’s closest rival is Stavros Malas, backed by the Cypriot communist party AKEL, with the support of 23% of respondents. Giorgos Lillikas, supported by socialists EDEK, has about 20% backing. Even with his election likely, Mr. Anastasiades will have little time to celebrate his victory. A 66-year-old lawyer by profession, he is seen as able to get the Cypriot economy, now in its second year of recession, back on its feet. He is also a stalwart of Europe’s conservative party caucus and close to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who publicly supported his bid during a visit to Cyprus in January. He will need those skills to help mend relations with Europe, which were sorely tested by his predecessor’s unyielding stance on austerity measures and privatizations that Europe and the IMF have demanded.
Cypriots vote in a presidential election Sunday more worried about securing an international bailout for the crisis-hit economy than choosing a leader to bridge the island’s decades-old divide. The vote marks the first time since independence in 1960 that progress on reunification with the island’s Turkish-occupied northern third has been forced to take a back seat. “The economic crisis has dominated the debate and the Cyprus problem is second by a long distance,” political analyst Hubert Faustmann told AFP. “Whoever comes in as president will have to sign the bailout or face state bankruptcy. These are the only two options. There is no third option,” said Faustmann, associate professor of history and politics and Nicosia University.
In a week or two, Cyprus will have a new president and a new government. The million-dollar question or rather the 17-billion-euro question is: Will this mark a new beginning for Cyprus or will we get more of the same, wrapped in a different colour. This is arguably the most important election for Cyprus since 1974 and possibly since the founding of the Republic in 1960. It is also the first time that the outcome of a Cyprus election is attracting pan-European, and possibly global, interest and significance. Normally, presidential elections in countries with a population under a million, even troubled-countries like Cyprus, would be relegated to the inside pages of world press and go unnoticed. Not so this time.
Reprinting 575,000 ballot papers began yesterday after the original batch was scrapped as they depicted the alleged unauthorised use of the Guinness World Records logo by one of the candidates. The reprint will cost the state roughly €40,000, and the electoral services are looking into the issue of legal culpability on the part of presidential candidate Andreas Efstratiou.
Efstratiou used the Guinness World Records logo on four previous election ballot papers, and claims that as a world record holder, he has express permission to use it wherever he pleases. But Chief Returning Officer, Andreas Ashiotis, rejected the claims yesterday after an email he received from Guinness World Records Ltd on Tuesday informed him that Efstratiou had been contacted in 2011 and told he was not permitted to use the logo on any more electoral ballots.
Over half a million ballot papers for next month’s presidential elections will have to be reprinted after the existing ones were ruled invalid as they feature the unauthorised logo of Guinness World Records. Some 575,000 ballots will now have to be binned, with the cost of a printing new ones estimated at €40,000. According to sources at the ministry, an anonymous call was made asking whether candidate Andreas Efstratiou’s use of the Guinness logo on the presidential election ballot papers was legal. The ministry emailed the company early yesterday morning to ask for clearance to use the logo on ballot papers but was informed that Efstratiou had been told in 2011 not to use the logo again after using it in the 2008 presidential elections. As a Guinness World Record holder, Efstratiou can use the logo in certain circumstances but not on ballot papers, according to the company. However Efstratiou has refuted this.