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.

It is added that in case of more than one candidacy, elections will take place on Sunday, February 17, with a run off election, if necessary, on February 24.

In another announcement it is added that the Minister of Interior appointed today Andreas Assiotis as the Chief Returning Officer, with a decree published today in the official gazette. With the same decree, the Minister also appointed the Assistant Chief Returning Officer, as well as the Returning Officers in the election districts of Cyprus and abroad.

February’s elections are being contested by three main candidates: President of the main opposition right wing party Democratic Rally (DISY) Nikos Anastasiades, who is backed by centre right Democratic Party DIKO, Stavros Malas, who will run having secured the backing of the ruling left wing party AKEL, and the independent candidate, former foreign minister, Giorgos Lillikas, who is backed by the socialist party EDEK and others.

Another six persons, hailing from various quarters and including a former Minister of Commerce, have also announced their intention to run for the Presidency.

Incumbent President Demetris Christofias, who is backed by AKEL, has announced that he will not seek re-election.

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