Cyprus: President Anastasiades wins run-off to land second term | Reuters

Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades won a second five-year term on Sunday as voters gave a thumbs-up to his record in containing an economic meltdown in 2013 and his attempts to reconcile with estranged Turkish Cypriots on the ethnically-split island. With all votes counted, the conservative had 56 percent of the vote against 44 percent for the leftist-backed Stavros Malas. “A new day dawns tomorrow which requires unity, because that is required to move forward,” Anastasiades told cheering crowds in downtown Nicosia. “I will continue to be a president for all Cypriots. Tonight, there are no winners or losers, there is (only) a Cyprus for all of us.”

Cyprus: Party refuses to back candidate in presidential race | Associated Press

Leaders of a major Cyprus political party decided Tuesday that they won’t support either the incumbent or his left-wing challenger in the runoff of the country’s presidential election. The executive bureau of center-right DIKO said that endorsing either President Nicos Anastasiades or independent Stavros Malas would be a reversal of the party’s stance on reunification talks with the divided nation’s breakaway Turkish Cypriots. The party’s candidate in the election’s first round on Sunday advocated a tougher line in the peace talks, saying Anastasiades and Malas would concede too much to the Turkish side.

Cyprus: President faces runoff after failing to win overall majority | The Guardian

Presidential polls in Cyprus were inconclusive on Sunday, with no candidate winning an overall majority, forcing a runoff on 4 February between the incumbent, Nicos Anastasiades, and Stavros Malas, a communist-backed former health minister. Anastasiades, leader of the conservative Democratic Rally (Disy) party, came in first with 35.50% of the vote but fell short of the 50% required to win outright. In a repeat of the island’s last presidential election, he now faces Malas, who ran as an independent with the support of the Progressive Party of Working People (Akel). The geneticist won 30.35%, sparking scenes of jubilation among supporters.

Cyprus: Old guard against new blood in Cyprus presidential vote | Associated Press

Cypriots are voting Sunday to choose a president who could break a cycle of failure in talks to reunify the ethnically split island-nation — and deliver the benefits of a rebounding economy to citizens still recovering from a severe economic crisis. The incumbent President Nicos Anastasiades, 71, will face off against two main challengers: Nicholas Papadopoulos, the wealthy scion of Cyprus’ late former President Tassos Papadopoulos and leader of the center-right DIKO party, and independent Stavros Malas, who is backed by the communist-rooted party AKEL. Polls show Anastasiades comfortably leading both challengers, though he doesn’t appear likely to pick up more than half of the votes cast in order to win outright and avoid a Feb. 4 runoff. There are some 551,000 elible voters.

Cyprus: Complaints over counting ballots as official results announced | Cyprus Mail

The final results for Sunday’s Turkish Cypriot ‘parliamentary’ elections were released in full on Tuesday after the ‘election board’ complained of difficulties in counting certain ballot boxes due to the new electoral system. While there were no major changes to the semi-official results announced on Monday, Serdar Denktash’s Democratic Party regained one seat from the Rebirth Party, giving them three ‘MPs’ and the latter two, bringing an end to the back and forth seat confusion.

Cyprus: Polls close in Turkish Cypriot general elections | TRT World

Polls have closed in a snap general election in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), and the count is expected to begin shortly. Votes were cast at 719 polling stations across the country in the 14th election since 1976, when the TRNC was the Turkish Federated State of Northern Cyprus. The TRNC was founded in 1983. Due to changes to the election system, the vote count may take longer than in previous years. A total of 379 candidates from eight parties and nine independent candidates are competing for 50 seats in Parliament.

Cyprus: Turkey casts shadow over Turkish Cypriots’ vote | Al Jazeera

The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) will head to the polls on Sunday, in a parliamentary election that has failed to stir enthusiasm among a largely disillusioned electorate. Elections in the internationally unrecognised entity are typically dominated by the long-running dispute of Cyprus, a Mediterranean island split between Turkish Cypriots in the north and Greek Cypriots in the south. With a solution to the problem, however, not in sight, campaign discussions this time have largely centred around TNRC’s enduring issues: corruption, nepotism, citizenships distributed to Turkish nationals and Ankara’s grip on the pseudo-state.  

Cyprus: Vote puts far-right in parliament | Reuters

Cyprus’s ruling conservatives took the lead in Sunday’s general election, results showed, while a far-right party won its first seats in the legislature amid voter disillusionment after a 2013 financial meltdown. With the voting tally at 100 percent, and an unprecedentedly high abstention rate, the right-wing Democratic Rally party was ahead with 30.6 percent of the vote followed by Communist AKEL with 25.6 percent. Compared to the previous elections of 2011, those two main parties on the Cypriot political scene suffered setbacks. AKEL’s Communists lost up to seven percentage points while Democratic Rally lost 3.7 percentage points.

Cyprus: Parliamentary vote puts far-right in parliament | Reuters

Cyprus’s ruling conservatives took the lead in Sunday’s general election, results showed, while a far-right party won its first seats in the legislature amid voter disillusionment after a 2013 financial meltdown. With the voting tally at 100 percent, and an unprecedentedly high abstention rate, the right-wing Democratic Rally party was ahead with 30.6 percent of the vote followed by Communist AKEL with 25.6 percent. Compared to the previous elections of 2011, those two main parties on the Cypriot political scene suffered setbacks. AKEL’s Communists lost up to seven percentage points while Democratic Rally lost 3.7 percentage points.

Cyprus: Votes with wrong symbol won’t count says returning officer | Cyprus Mail

Voters in Sunday’s election were on Monday warned to use the right symbols on ballots otherwise their vote will not count. “According to the electoral law, the only symbols with which voters are allowed to vote, are the ‘x’ or ‘+’ or ‘√’,” a Chief Returning Officer announcement said. In the case voters use any other symbol or letter, “with which his or her identity may be revealed, their ballot will be considered as invalid”. Voters must choose the designated number of candidates for each district from the same party/coalition, it said. In Nicosia votes are made for five candidates, in Limassol and Famagusta three, Larnaca two and one in Paphos and Kyrenia, it said.

Cyprus: With Akıncı’s election, a new era opens in Cyprus | Hurriyet Daily News

Sunday’s presidential elections in northern Cyprus will usher the island into a new and challenging phase. Mustafa Akıncı, the winner of the runoff with over 60 percent of the vote will face a daunting task once he takes office later this week: UN envoy and a team of international mediators convinced Greek Cypriot leader Nikos Anastasiades to return to talks and now that northern vote is left behind as well time is up to concentrate on talks and finish off the Cyprus problem this way or the other within next two years. The first round of voting on April 19 was inconclusive. In Sunday’s second round of voting incumbent Dr. Derviş Eroğlu and Mustafa Akıncı, the two front-runners of the first vote contested. Despite pre-election forecasts in public opinion polls, with his “clean politician image” and a political career committed to seek a resolution to the Cyprus problem Akıncı managed to forge a left-right coalition in the runoff vote that carried him to victory, thus to become the second left winger in the difficult seat of presidency since the creation of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus in 1983.

Cyprus: Turkish Cypriots will resort to court over voting foul up | Cyprus Mail

Cypriots who ran for MEP in Sunday’s vote have said they will take to the courts to challenge the legitimacy of the elections, after many eligible Turkish Cypriot voters were prevented from participating due to a bureaucratic cock-up. Under an amendment to the election law, passed last March, some 90,000 Turkish Cypriots aged 18 and above holding a Republic of Cyprus ID card and residing in the occupied areas would be automatically granted voting rights, with no need to register in the electoral roll. In contrast, Turkish Cypriots aged 18 and above with a Republic of Cyprus ID card but residing in areas controlled by the government of Cyprus needed to register in order to be eligible to vote The amendment thus made automatic eligibility conditional on one’s residential address. With the new law, 58,637 Turkish Cypriots automatically gained the right to vote in the European elections – those who had their address of residence in the north recorded by the authorities. All citizens of the Republic have the right to vote, but have to apply to be included in the electoral roll on reaching the age of 18.

Cyprus: Long-time opposition wins Turkish Cypriot vote | European Voice

The centre-left Republican Turkish Party-United Forces (CTP), the leading opposition party for most of the past four years, has won snap elections in the Turkish Cypriot community, preliminary figures suggest. It won a clear, 11 percentage point victory, but fell four seats short of winning a majority in the 50-member parliament of the self-styled Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. The CTP had been in opposition until mid-June, when the National Unity Party (UBP) four-year rule was ended by an internal split. The CTP then formed a caretaker government under Sibel Siber, the first female head of government in the Turkish-occupied northern half of Cyprus.

Cyprus: Pro-bailout candidate takes 45.4% of vote | The Guardian

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.

Cyprus: Ahead of Cyprus Election, Gloom and Voter Apathy |

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: Authorities prepared for any new cyber threat to elections | Cyprus Mail

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.

Cyprus: Vote Looms as Clock Ticks | Wall Street

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.

Cyprus: Economy, not North, dominates Cyprus vote | Global Post

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.

Cyprus: A new beginning or more of the same? | Cyprus Mail

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.

Cyprus: Reprinting of ballots begins | Cyprus Mail

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.

Cyprus: Election ballots to be reprinted over Guinness World Record logo row | Cyprus Mail

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.

Cyprus: Forty polling stations to operate abroad during Cyprus presidential elections | Famagusta Gazette

Forty polling stations will operate abroad during the upcoming presidential elections, scheduled for February 17. According to the Office of the Chief Returning Officer, there will five polling stations in Athens, three in Thessaloniki, as well as polling stations in Volos, Heraklion, Ioannina, Komotini, Larissa, Patra, Rethymno and Rhodes. Five polling stations will operate in London at the High Commission building and two at the Cypriot Community Centre. In other parts of the UK there will be a polling station in Leeds, two in Manchester, two in Birmingham and one in Bristol. Polling stations will also operate in Berlin, Vienna, Budapest, Brussels, Manama (Bahrain), New York, Doha, Paris, Prague, Riyadh (Saudi Arabia) and Sofia.

Cyprus: Efforts to reduce polling expenses in Presidential elections, Chief Returning Officer says | Famagusta Gazette

A number of 1.100 polling stations will operate in the Republic of Cyprus during the upcoming Presidential elections, scheduled for February 17, while another 40 stations will be operating in 26 countries abroad, Chief Returning Officer Andreas Assiotis has said. Assiotis also said that efforts are underway to reduce expenses, in light of the financial crisis. “Everything is proceeding smoothly”, concerning preparations for the election day, the Chief Returning Officer said. According to Assiotis, savings will incure from the full employment of embassy personnel in the polling procedure, to reduce spending from the dispatch of personnel in polling stations abroad.

Cyprus: Presidential elections proclaimed for February 17 | Famagusta Gazette

Presidential elections in the Republic of Cyprus were officially proclaimed today by the Minister of Interior and will take place on February 17. An eventual second round is set for a week later, on February 24. The Minister also appointed today the Chief Returning Officer Andreas Assiotis and the rest of the Returning Officers in Cyprus’ election districts and abroad. According to an announcement by the Office of the Chief Returning Officer, Interior Minister Eleni Mavrou has set January 18th as the date for the submission of candidacies by the contestants for the Presidential Elections, according to a decree published today in the official gazette.

Cyprus: Last-minute dash to register for elections | Cyprus Mail

Hundreds of Cypriots made last minute applications yesterday to become eligible to vote in next month’s presidential elections.
According to head of the Interior Ministry’s Electoral Service, Demetris Demetriou, the number of people who registered on the electoral roll in the last five days equalled the tally collected for the last three months. The Electoral Service, District Offices, and Citizen’s Service Centres around the island closed their doors at 5pm yesterday to those eligible voters wishing to add their names to the electoral roll, both domestically and abroad, ahead of the February 17 presidential elections.

Cyprus: Cyprob back in the limelight as elections draw nearer | Cyprus Mail

After months of wrangling over the economic woes of the country, the government and opposition yesterday joined forces to reject Turkish reports of a UN proposal to hold a four-party conference on the Cyprus problem. The realignment of stars was brief however as the various factions within the Cypriot political system soon turned on each other to blame their opponents for giving Turkey the chance to push for a four-party conference through their alleged playmaker, UN special adviser on Cyprus Alexander Downer.

Cyprus: Cyprus weighs its post-Greek election bailout options | Business Spectator

Cyprus faces the choice of asking for a bailout from its European partners in the euro or from Russia, and will decide where to turn after this weekend’s crucial elections in Greece, officials say. Government spokesman Stefanos Stefanou wouldn’t name the country where a possible loan could come from. But an official, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter, identified it as Russia. Mr Stefanou said Cyprus is looking at both options in order to have “flexibility to deal with the issue”. “We have these options in front of us, we’re looking in the direction of a bilateral loan as well as toward the European Union support mechanism,” he told AP.

Cyprus: President says he will not seek re-election |

Cypriot President Demetris Christofias, the European Union’s only Communist head of state, said on Monday he would not seek re-election next year, citing lack of progress towards the island’s reunification. Elected in 2008, Christofias is lagging in opinion polls over a faltering economy and unpopular concessions in peace talks. The presidential election is due in February 2013. “Taking as a fact that the Cyprus problem has not been solved, and it does not appear that there can be definitive progress in the next few months … I will not seek re-election,” he said in a televised address.