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Cyprus Mail: Press Review in English, 98-02-05

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From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Thursday, February 5, 1998

People to vote for strategy?

ALL the pro-government papers led with reports on President Clerides' speech to the Disy faithful. In his speech, the president explained the type of Cyprus settlement he would pursue and rejected the suggestion by former Greek Prime Minister Constantine Mitsotakis that the island should be partitioned.

Alithia quoted Clerides as saying that in these elections the people would not be choosing a party, but the strategy that would solve the Cyprus problem, make Cyprus a member of the EU and reinforce the Unified Defence Dogma.

Clerides made a contract with the people on Tuesday night, by clearly outlining his objectives on the Cyprus issue, the paper said. He would work for the establishment of a federal state, with one sovereignty and one nationality and would insist on the withdrawal of the Turkish troops and repatriation of settlers.

Simerini focused on Clerides' response to Mitsotakis' position on partition. The president said he "categorically rejects the idea of accepting the faits accomplis imposed by the invasion". He also rejected the idea that only part of Cyprus would become a member of the EU and of re- adjusting the 'borders' of the island.

The president also warned that whoever was elected should on no account try to marginalise or downgrade the US role in the peace initiative. If US interest in a settlement faded so would the wider international interest.

Agon said that Clerides had pledged to put a prospective settlement to a referendum. He would sign it only after securing the approval of the people.

Haravghi said that Limassol was shaken on Tuesday night by the thousands who attended George Iacovou's rally, chanting that "the triumph of democracy is a given". Iacovou's victory was certain.

It said: "Thousands of Limassolians, refugees and villagers, young and old, sang of the victory of the democratic, progressive forces. The song together with the passion of the gathering became one with the wind of change, which blew strongly, taking the message of victory to every corner of the island."

Phileleftheros concentrated on the exchange of accusations among candidates, most of whom claimed they were victims of rumour campaigns. Akel leader Demetris Christofias spoke in defence of Iacovou who had been the target of "dirty rumours aimed against his honour, decency and morality".

The rumours made decent people feel disgust. This phenomenon was "conclusive proof of the political depravity that characterised a section of the outgoing president's supporters," he said.

Machi reported that Iacovou would be appearing in court two days before the elections to argue against an injunction imposed on one of his election leaflets. The injunction was issued because the leaflet included the photograph of a woman without her permission being secured.

© Copyright Cyprus Mail 1998

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