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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 98-02-05

Cyprus News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Latest polls give Clerides marginal lead
  • [02] Cyprus protests Turkish treats on military airbase

  • 1255:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Latest polls give Clerides marginal lead

    Nicosia, Feb 5 (CNA) -- Two more opinion polls, whose results were released yesterday, give incumbent President Glafcos Clerides a narrow lead over his main rival George Iacovou in the forthcoming presidential elections.

    One of the polls, conducted by CYMAR Market Research Ltd in cooperation with a Greek company VPRC between 28-31 January, gives Clerides 40.6 per cent of the vote and Iacovou 40.1 in the second and final round of the elections, on 15 February.

    The two front runners are backed by the largest parties on the island, Clerides by the rightwing Democratic Rally (DISY) and Iacovou by the leftwing AKEL and the centre-right Democratic Party (DIKO).

    The same poll concluded that Socialist EDEK leader Vassos Lyssarides will garner 12,6 per cent of the vote, one of the highest percentages given to the veteran politician in any of the recent polls.

    Undecided voters, blank ballots and those who refused to reply to the questions of the poll account for 19 per cent of those who participated in the poll, carried out on a sample of 1,000 persons in rural and urban areas.

    The CYMAR - VPRC poll said, on the basis of valid votes, in Sunday's first round of the elections Iacovou will lead with 40 per cent against Clerides with 38,5.

    The remaining five presidential hopefuls will be distributed as follows: Lyssarides 12,6 per cent, Alexis Galanos, DIKO MP, 4,1 per cent, former Cyprus President George Vassiliou, 3,9 per cent, Nicos Koutsou, leader of the newly formed New Horizons party, 0,8 per cent, and former Foreign Minister Nicos Rolandis, leader of the Liberal party, 0,1 per cent.

    The second poll conducted by the Cyprus College between 30 January and 3 February gives Clerides 42 per cent and Iacovou 40,5 per cent.

    Undecided voters in the second round are estimated at 13 per cent and another 3,4 per cent said they would cast a blank vote while 0,4 per cent did not reply.

    Clerides, according to this poll, has a slight lead in the first round of the elections with 35,5 per cent against Iacovou's 34,7 per cent.

    Lyssarides gets 8,7 per cent of the vote, Vassiliou 6, Galanos 4,3, Koutsou 1,5, and Rolandis 0,8 in the first round.

    There are 6,4 undecided voters. An additional 2,2 per cent of the voters intend to cast a blank vote in the same round.

    CNA MM/GP/1998

    [02] Cyprus protests Turkish treats on military airbase

    Nicosia, Feb 5 (CNA) -- Cyprus has protested to the UN over recent Turkish threats with regard to the construction of a military airbase near the town of Paphos, urging the Secretary-General to remind Turkey of its obligations under the UN Charter.

    In a letter Wednesday addressed to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, Permanent Representative of Cyprus to the UN Sotos Zackheos emphasised the government's right of self-defence being the victim of Turkish aggression and occupation since 1974.

    "As a sovereign and independent state, the Republic of Cyprus does nothing more but to exercise its inalienable right recognised by the UN Charter and general international law, through the enhancement of the defencive capabilities of National Guard," the letter said.

    After 24 years of impasse on the Cyprus question with Turkey steadfastly refusing to withdraw or even reduce its occupation troops, Zackheos noted, the need for the Republic "to take sufficient measures to defend itself in the face of this continuing threat becomes even more imperative."

    The letter pointed out that Turkey maintains in the occupied area of the island "a force of 36.000 heavily armed troops which is constantly upgraded and modernised," spearheaded by more than 300 modern tanks and Turkish combat aircraft stationed there.

    "All the units of the occupying force are on a 100 percent level of battle readiness and manning," the letter added.

    It said that Turkey's reactions to the upgrading of Cyprus' defence has the sole intention of maintaining the hugely imbalanced military status quo on the island," something the UN itself "has unequivocally considered unacceptable."

    Noting that the Republic's defence programme is conditional upon a just and viable Cyprus solution through peaceful means or the demilitarisation of the island, Zackheos said a 1993 proposal by President Glafcos Clerides for complete demilitarisation "is still on the table."

    Noting that recent Turkish threats in connection with the construction of the Republic's military airbase were not "a surprising element," the Cypriot diplomat urged the UN Chief "to remind the Turkish government of its obligations and responsibilities under the Charter of the UN.

    The base, situated near the western coastal town of Paphos, was handed over to the Ministry of Defence by the contractors on January 24 and will be inaugurated after this month's presidential elections.

    The base where Greek military aircraft would be stationed depending on developments, will be named after late Greek Premier Andreas Papandreou.

    The governments of Cyprus and Greece agreed upon a joint defence pact in November 1993.

    Turkish troops have been occupying 37 per cent of Cyprus territory since 1974, in violation of repeated UN resolutions calling for their withdrawal.

    CNA AP/GP/1998
    Cyprus News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
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