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Cyprus Mail: Press Review in English, 97-11-27

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From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Thursday, November 27, 1997

Diko keeps rivals guessing

ALL yesterday's lead stories were related to the presidential elections and, particularly, the plans of Diko, which is being courted by most of the other parties.

Phileleftheros said that the question of the third candidate who will be backed by Diko had developed into "a serial" as the party had put back the final decision by 10 days. Diko insiders said that more meetings would be needed in order to agree a programme with the candidate.

Close associates of Spyros Kyprianou said that the party leader had secured the agreement of the candidate, whose identity they refused to divulge. However, they did not deny that Attorney-general Alecos Markides would be the candidate. Kyprianou was in constant contact with the candidate, the paper said.

Haravghi gives prominence to Akel leader Demetris Christofias' call to Diko to back George Iacovou's candidacy. In his charm offensive, Christofias said that Diko's "natural position" was close to Akel. Diko's alliance with Disy in the last five years had damaged the party's prestige and only an alliance with Akel would heal the wounds, said Christofias.

It seemed that Diko's candidate would be Markides, who, like president Clerides, had no chance of winning votes from Akel supporters, Christofias said.

Simerini led with Disy leader Nicos Anastassiades' digs at Diko's and its leader's lack of credibility. The paper noted that the Disy chief was careful "not to destroy the bridges (with Diko) that could lead to future alliance between the two parties". Anastassiades also said that he would "extend a hand of co-operation to Diko until the eleventh hour".

Anastassiades also warned Disy members against attempting to "break the party's wall of unity" because they would be bitterly disappointed.

Alithia, in the role of official mouthpiece of president Clerides, ran a lead story which maintained that Markides had no chance of going through to the second round of the elections. It cited Christofias' contention that Markides would receive no votes from Akel.

It also made a big issue out of Edek's open refusal to join Diko in backing the candidacy of Markides. Edek had described rumours, supposedly being spread by Diko, suggesting that some socialist deputies would back Markides, as "politically immoral".

Machi claimed that members of Edek, Diko and New Horizons had suggested that the three parties should unite to set up a new party under the leadership of Alecos Markides. This was being used as an incentive for Markides to stand as a presidential candidate, it said.

© Copyright Cyprus Mail 1997

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