Young voters disinterested in Presidential Elections

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Despite a last-minute wave of first-time voters to join the electoral register before Tuesday’s cut-off date, just over half of those eligible will cast a ballot in February’s Presidential elections.

According to data released by the Interior Ministry, 36,730 (51%) out of 71,731 eligible voters between the ages of 18 and 25 have registered to vote for the upcoming ballot.

Some 9,677, or 26.3%, of new voters registered this year, most of them (7,444) in the past three months.

And 1,211 applications were submitted through the state’s online services.

However, the last-minute rush was not enough to overturn the picture of voter apathy among younger generations.

Compared to the presidential elections in 2018, some 10,363 applications were approved in the last three months before the deadline.

In the same period leading up to the Parliamentary elections in 2021, some 15,345 applications were approved.

Around 48.12% or 34,549 eligible new voters will not be going to the polls, despite efforts to encourage participation.

Lead candidates Nikos Christodoulides, Andreas Mavroyiannis, Achilleas Demetriades and Constantinos Christofides have aired TV spots calling on younger people to come forward and vote.

Tuesday was the last day for voters living abroad to send their request to vote from their country of residence.

For authorities to set up a ballot overseas, it needs at least 50 requests from eligible voters.

So far, some 6,033 Cypriots have requested to vote abroad, with ballots set up in 19 cities in Europe and the USA.

Six polling stations will operate in the UK — London, Glasgow, Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol, and Leeds.

Another eight will operate in Greece — Athens, Thessaloniki, Patra, Heraklion, Ioannina, Larisa, Komotini and Volos.

Voting stations will also be open in Brussels, the Hague, Sofia, Berlin, and New York.

Elections are scheduled for 5 February, with a run-off a week later considered almost certain, as none of the candidates seems capable of securing 50% plus one vote needed to be elected president at the first shout.

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 close to a third of the votes (29.5%).

At the same time, a tight race is predicted between laggers — AKEL-backed Andreas Mavroyiannis and ruling DISY’s chief Averof Neophytou.

Mavroyiannis has the support of 17.2% 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 15.9%, despite enjoying the support of President Anastasiades.

The first round will be held on Sunday, 5 February, and the second, if needed, the following Sunday, 12 February.