Cyprus goes to polls on Sunday to elect new President
Nine candidates registered to contest Presidential elections in Cyprus scheduled for 28 January, an electoral official said on Friday.
Demetris Demetriou, chief electoral officer, said all nine candidacies became final and official after no objections were lodged against any of the candidates, six hours after the end of the registration deadline.
The main constestants are, the incumbent president Nikos Anastasiades, Stavros Malas, an independent supported by the Workers' Party AKEL and Nikolas Papadopoulos of the "Democratic Party", DIKO.
The most likely scenario is that the election will go to round two on the following Sunday, 4 February, as none of the candidates is expected to achieve the required 50% plus of the vote on the first Sunday.
The outcome of the election will decide whether negotiations for the reunification of the partitioned eastern Mediterranean island stand a chance to resume after they collapsed in July.
Most political analysts say that an electoral win by Nicolas Papadopoulos would lead to a prolonged inactivity as he is advocating a hard line stance against demands by Turkish Cypriots for an effective participation in the administration of a federal state.
Both Anastasiades and Malas, despite representing diametrically opposed political ideologies, both favor a settlement that would provide for a power sharing between Greek and Turkish Cypriots, and will do away with Turkey's intervention rights and the stationing of Turkish troops on Cyprus.
Cyprus was divided in 1974 when Turkey occupied its northern part in reaction to a coup by the Greek Junta and Greek Cypriot nationalists.