Polling stations opened at 0700 local time (0500 GMT) for the presidential elections in the government-controlled areas of the Republic of Cyprus.

There are eleven candidates contesting the elections, including two women. The three main candidates are the President of the main opposition Democratic Rally (DISY) party Nicos Anastasiades, who is backed by the centre right Democratic Party (DIKO), Stavros Malas, who has secured the support of the ruling left wing party AKEL and Giorgos Lillikas, former foreign minister who is backed by the socialist EDEK party and others.

The rest of the presidential hopefuls are: Praxoula Antoniadou Kyriakou, Georgios Charalambous, Lakis Ioannou, Makaria Antri Stylianou, Loucas Stavrou, Solon Gregoriou, Andreas Efstratiou, and Costas (Utopos) Kyriakou.

The polling stations will close at 1800 local time, with a one-hour break from 1200 to 1300. The presiding officer of each polling station may extend the closing time to 2100, if voters who arrived in time are still waiting to vote.

A total of 1,139 polling stations will operate for 545,491 voters, of which 311 are on the list of persons enclaved in the Turkish-occupied areas of the Republic, and 14,441 who will be voting at one of the 40 polling stations abroad.

Votes will be counted at the polling stations. The final result is expected at around 2030 local time, while the first results from small polling stations are expected as early as 1830.

Presidential elections take place in Cyprus every five years.


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