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Cyprus Mail: Press Review in English, 98-02-12

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From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Thursday, February 12, 1998

Waiting for Edek's decision

ALL THE dailies were eagerly awaiting the Edek central committee's decision, scheduled for yesterday afternoon, on which of the two candidates the party would be backing on Sunday.

Phileleftheros reported that "everyone is hanging from the lips of Lyssarides", after the 'yes' from both President Clerides and George Iacovou to Edek's call for a national unity government.

After meeting the two candidates, Lyssarides made a statement containing many messages, the paper said. He stressed that with his proposal he had hoped to unite the people so they could focus their attention on the occupation.

The people should not forget the coup, coupists should be barred from public office, but the "victimisation and exclusion" of 35 per cent of the population (Disy supporters) from the national struggle constituted a blow against unity, he said.

Agon said that all indications suggested that Edek would not take a stand in favour of either candidate. Lyssarides was expected to propose that party members be allowed to make their own choice in the Sunday election.

Such a decision, the paper said, would strengthen the election prospects of Clerides, who had already secured the support of a host of Diko defectors, including candidate Alexis Galanos, and of the New Horizons.

Alithia applauded the decision of Galanos and the Diko defectors to openly back Clerides. It listed the names of the defectors who had called on all Diko members to vote for Clerides.

It quoted Galanos as saying that many Diko supporters who had backed Iacovou last Sunday would be voting for Clerides in the run-off because they realised this would be good for the country.

Simerini announced that both Clerides and Iacovou had committed themselves to the national unity government. Iacovou's backers, Diko and Akel, had accepted Lyssarides' proposal, but would not participate in a unity government under Clerides because he could not be trusted.

The Akel central committee said it would prefer the setting up of a government from which Disy would be excluded, but did not object to Iacovou including members of that party.

Haravghi said that for the sake of "democratic change" and despite some reservations about certain conditions set by Edek, it was willing to accept Disy members in unity government as long as they had not been involved in the coup.

The paper led with the news that Akel and Diko had accepted Lyssarides' proposal, but omitted to mention that Clerides had also done so.

Machi interpreted Akel's position on the Edek proposal as proof that there was a rift between Akel leader Demetris Christofias and Diko chief Spyros Kyprianou. Kyprianou had accepted the Edek document in its entirety without any reservations, in stark contrast to Akel, it said.

© Copyright Cyprus Mail 1998

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