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Cyprus Mail: Press Review in English, 97-11-18

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From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Tuesday, November 18, 1997

Markides speculation continues

THE presidential elections were again the main story in the majority of the dailies yesterday.

Alithia reported that the big issue was now whether Attorney-general Alecos Markides would decide, or be persuaded, to run as an independent candidate. The paper said Markides's intentions were still not clear despite three meetings with Disy leader Nicos Anastassiades over the weekend.

The talk is that Diko are looking to Markides as the "third candidate" that could re-unite them with Disy in a coalition securing a majority in the elections.

Simerini reported that Disy were forging ahead with drawing up an election campaign for Clerides, despite the Markides question remaining unresolved.

Left-wing Haravghi reported that Disy were putting pressure on Markides to say he would not stand. Haravghi also said Disy were throwing the gauntlet to Diko, saying Clerides already enjoyed enough support to win the elections even without Diko's official endorsement.

Phileleftheros reported that Diko seemed to be caught on a cleft stick, unable to garner support from left or right. The minority party's efforts to form a coalition with other parties were bearing no fruit, the paper reported.

To Tharros "revealed" how, on his recent snap visit to the island, US special envoy Richard Holbrooke circumvented the politically sensitive question of which side of the divide to have lunch on. Sitting at the negotiating table with President Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash at the Ledra Palace on Tuesday, Holbrooke, according to Tharros, asked the two leaders if they were hungry, adding that he was famished. He then whipped out a large jar of luxury Russian caviar from his briefcase and invited Clerides and Denktash to tuck-in, Tharros reported. The renowned US negotiator apparently explained that he had been gifted the fish-eggs while on a business trip to Moscow just before coming to Cyprus, and thought it would be a good idea to share them with the two leaders.

The right-wing paper also sought to give Clerides's campaign to win re- election a shot in the arm yesterday.

First the paper quoted "recent opinion polls" as giving Clerides an outright majority of 52 per cent "and rising". Then Tharros mentioned that it was the President's birthday yesterday, and quoted his age as 70. Clerides was in fact born in 1919, making him 78 yesterday.

© Copyright Cyprus Mail 1997

Cyprus Mail: Press Review in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
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