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Cyprus Mail: Press Review in English, 97-12-23

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From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Tuesday, December 23, 1997

Will Kyprianou decide to stand?

SPECULATION on whether Diko will turn to independent candidate George Iacovou, who is backed by Akel, or decide to contest the presidential elections on its own was the main story in yesterday's press.

Other front page stories include police inquiries into the murder of a Russian Greek in Limassol and a Greek newspaper report predicting an easy victory for incumbent President Clerides in February's elections.

Simerini says that last minute contacts were still under way between Diko and Akel, but that no agreement had been reached between the leaders of the two parties, Spyros Kyprianou and Demetris Christofias. The paper says that conditions put by Kyprianou to support Iacovou include participation in decision-making on the Cyprus problem and partial amendments to Iacovou's election programme. According to Simerini, developments suggest Diko is more likely to opt for Iacovou. But it also carries a warning from the party's former deputy president, Alexis Galanos, that if Diko goes for either Iacovou or Clerides he will contest the presidency himself.

Haravghi sees positive developments in consultations between Diko and Akel. It quotes Kyprianou as saying that the party faithful were returning to the fold because of the shoddy way Diko had been treated by Disy. The party's general secretary, Stathis Kittis, denied Diko was on the verge of splitting.

To Tharros says indications from Kyprianou are that the party will go for Iacovou. But it adds that senior Diko officials were making it clear they would never agree. Some are even threatening to leave the party and support Clerides. They are instead counter-proposing that Kyprianou run himself, but the latter option is not accepted by Kyprianou who fears a poor showing, it adds.

According to the paper Iacovou has offered Kyprianou seven ministries, a say in the handling of the Cyprus problem, and any change in Iacovou's electoral programme it may request.

Alithia says Kyprianou was tending towards Iacovou but faced the terrible headache of how to justify such a move, in view of his previous statements rejecting the former foreign minister. The paper says Diko members were making it clear they did not want their party to support Iacovou. Their objections were particularly acute in the view of reports that consultations centred on who would get which ministry.

Agon leads on a report in the Greek weekly To Vima relying on public opinion polls, and which forecast a clear victory for Clerides.

Phileleftheros leads on a meeting in Washington between US President Bill Clinton and Turkish Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz. It says that Yilmaz had secured the go-ahead from Clinton to link efforts to resolve the Cyprus problem with those to tackle Greco-Turkish differences in the Aegean.

© Copyright Cyprus Mail 1997

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