Higher cost of living and rising inflating will bloat the bill for the Presidential Elections 2023 in February by €2 mln compared to those held in 2018.
The budget of the Ministry of Interior includes €7 mln to cover the expenses of the Presidential Elections, compared to €5 mln spent for the elections in 2018.
It is estimated that a fund of €2.3 mln will be allocated for overtime work, the preparation of the elections and staffing polling stations.
An amount of €100,000 will be allocated for renting halls, and equipment, while €900,000 is for police overtime and transportation expenses.
Some €150,000 is earmarked for the needs of the Government Printing Office (materials and overtime), while for the publication of election announcements and newspaper advertisements, another €500,000 has been included.
A fund of €280,000 is for the campaign to encourage new voters to register and reduce absenteeism.
At the same time, for the online results service, the state IT Services Department will be accredited with €250,000.
Another €300,000 will be going to creating polling stations abroad.
The amount earmarked for the second round of the election is €1.9 mln.
A run-off is considered almost certain, as so far, none of the candidates seems capable of securing 50% plus one vote needed to be elected President of the Republic at the first ballot.
Centre-right DIKO-backed Christodoulides is the frontrunner for the 2023 Presidential Elections, as all opinion polls give him a commanding lead.
According to recent polls, Christodoulides leads with a third of the votes (33%), while a tight race is predicted between laggers — AKEL-backed Andreas Mavroyiannis and ruling DISY’s chief Averof Neophytou.
Mavroyiannis has the support of just 12.5% of voters despite the backing of the main opposition party AKEL which obtained 22.34% in the last parliamentary elections.
Not far behind, Neophytou is third with 11.9%, despite enjoying the support of President Anastasiades.