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Cyprus Mail: Press Review in English, 98-02-07

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From: The Cyprus Mail at <http://www.cynews.com/>


Saturday, February 7, 1998

Speculation about second round alliances

SPECULATIVE reports about the possible alliances that would be formed in the second round of the presidential elections, a week on Sunday, were carried by several papers.

Simerini reported that President Clerides had sent "indirect, but clear" messages to Edek and the smaller parties whose candidates would not be contesting the second round of the elections.

For an election deal that would lead to the setting up of a coalition government, the small party must support close co-operation on the national issue and EU accession witrh the Greek government. A convergence of views with Clerides on the handling of the basic aspects of the Cyprus problem was also necessary.

Agon said that Clerides was opposed to the practice of offering a couple of ministries to small parties in exchange for their support in the elections. There should first be agreement on the main issues that concern the electorate he said.

Phileleftheros reported the responses of some party leaders to Clerides' views about possible alliances. Dr Lyssarides said Clerides was too vague, but added that Edek was preparing a list of conditions it would set before entering an alliance. The list would be submitted to both second round candidates.

George Vassiliou said the United Democrats would enter an election alliance only if the national interest was served. The positions and principles, on which his candidacy was based, would have to be satisfied.

Haravghi reported that the latest opinion poll, conducted by AMER between January 30 and February 4, gave George Iacovou a five per cent lead over Clerides in the first round and a 2.8 per cent lead in the second.

If Iacovou secured one third of the undecided and the voters of the smaller parties he would easily win the second ballot. What was impressive, it said, was the way Iacovou had increased his share of the younger voters compared to earlier polls.

Alithia reported that the malicious rumours about George Iacovou, that have been condemned by Akel and Diko, had been discussed, some months ago, by Spyros Kyprianou at a Diko central committee meeting. Kyprianou had reportedly boasted at this meeting (before he had decided to support Iacovou) that he could make the Akel candidate leave Cyprus within 24 hours.

Kyprianou admitted that the rumours had been discussed, but added that he had established that they were unfounded. This proved Kyprianou had been spreading the rumours, the paper concluded.

Machi said that Kyprianou's admission showed that he was responsible for spreading the rumours about Iacovou and not Disy, as hhad been claimed by the Iacovou camp. The paper added that the search for "scandals" that would embarrass Iacovou, had been conducted by people who are posing today as his most fanatical supporters.

© Copyright Cyprus Mail 1998

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