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Cyprus Mail: Press Review in English, 97-11-07

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From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Friday, November 7, 1997

Still hopes for alliance?

MOST newspapers looked at the consequences of the departure of Diko's ministers from the government and carried speculation as to what form the electoral landscape would be taking.

Phileleftheros reported that, after Diko's departure from the government, contacts had begun between its representatives and other parties. "Discreet initiatives" had been undertaken by Diko "in all directions", although only Edek had confirmed that this was the case.

Meanwhile, Akel had announced that it would enter an alliance with other parties on the condition that they backed the candidacy of George Iacovou. Diko, on the other hand, was interested in an alliance with the Left only if the candidate came from the Diko camp.

Simerini reported that Edek leader Dr Vasos Lyssarides had ruled out an alliance with Diko, but had called for the creation of a united front against President Clerides. He invited all opposition parties to participate as this would ensure the defeat of Clerides. He ruled out the backing of Iacovou by an alliance.

It also reported that "influential and powerful" businessmen, who are backing Diko financially, are putting pressure on Spyros Kyprianou to back Clerides, whom they want re-elected.

Haravghi, under the headline "Reluctant resignations", said that Clerides had not accepted resignation letters from the five Diko ministers, because he wanted them to attend the press conference he was to give last night. Clerides' pretext was that the ministers had to complete their work.

Clerides' delaying tactics supported the view that the Disy-Diko alliance would survive, said the paper. It suggested that the Diko central committee, which is meeting on Monday, could support the continuation of the alliance. Some of the departing ministers were openly in favour of the alliance's continuation, it said.

Machi claimed that the departing ministers, together with businessmen from the centre-right, would help to keep the Disy-Diko alliance alive. It said that the five departing ministers were, clearly, unhappy for having to leave the cabinet.

Agon said that new ministers would be appointed by Tuesday. Clerides, reportedly, would appoint retired, senior public servants to ministerial posts as they would be serving only a three-month term. The president was also quoted as telling the departing ministers that he would be happy to appoint them again if re-elected.

Alithia led with a report about the unexpected visit to Cyprus on Monday by US envoy Richard Holbrooke. It said Holbrooke would apply pressure on the two sides so that some progress is made in the negotiations on security matters.

© Copyright 1997 Cyprus Mail

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