The electoral system varies depending on the type of election.

According to the Constitution, the election of the President of the Republic is made by a universal vote on the basis of a majority system. A candidate shall be elected  when s/he secures more than 50% of valid votes. If no candidate secures this percentage, a by-election is held seven days later. Candidates who received the greater number of votes contest the by-election.

The Constitution provides that the mode of election of members of the House of Representatives shall be set by law. This made it possible to repeatedly changing the system. From 1960 a plurality system was promulgated, with the voter having the right to select candidates from different parties; in 1980, a reinforced proportionality system with a very high electoral threshold was voted, while in 1995 simple proportionality was adopted, with a voting threshold of 1/56 (about 1, 8%) of valid votes. The threshold was raised to 3.6% in 2015. The voter has the option of simply choosing a party, and / or giving vote(s) of preference to only one party’s candidate(s). The number of votes of preference results from the division of the number of seats in a constituency by four.

In local elections, for the members of the municipal councils and the members of the community councils, a simple proportionality system is applied without any threshold. Provisions similar to those for the parliamentary elections for preference votes, seat allocation and other elements apply. The mayors and presidents of communities are elected by universal suffrage in their municipality / community and a plurality system. A candidate who secures the largest number of votes shall be elected.

The six members representing Cyprus in the European Parliament are elected by universal suffrage on a simple proportionality basis. Following an amendment of the relevant law, the Turkish Cypriot citizens of the Republic of Cyprus residing in the area occupied by the Turkish Army were granted the right to vote and stand for election to the European Parliament, since 2014. The electoral threshold remains at 1.8%, while it allows independent candidates or a ticket of independent candidates to participate in the second phase of the allocation of seats.

Electoral rights

The right to vote and to stand for the offices of the President of the Republic and to a member of the House of Representatives is defined in the Constitution. A citizen that has attained the age of 21 has the right to vote, in accordance with Article 63. This article was amended in 1996 and lowered the age of acquisition of the right to vote down to 18. Thus, 18 is the voting age in all contests, Presidential, Parliamentary, Local and European Elections.

The right to stand for election varies according to the office sought by the candidate. In accordance with the Constitution, the nominee for the office of the President of the Republic is required to have reached the age of 35, while to run for election to the House of Representatives a citizen must attain 25 years of age. This is lowered to 21 for the offices of a mayor, the president of a community or a member of a municipal council or a community council, and of a Member of the European Parliament.