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Cyprus Mail: Press Review in English, 97-12-31

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From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Wednesday, December 31, 1997

Diko 'united behind Iacovou'

THE PRESIDENTIAL elections, and Diko's decision to join Akel in backing George Iacovou's candidacy, continued to dominate the front pages of the dailies yesterday.

Akel mouthpiece Haravghi triumphantly declared Iacovou was "certain" of victory. Commenting on Monday evening's Diko party conference, addressed by Iacovou and Diko chief Spyros Kyprianou, the left-wing paper painted a picture of a Diko united behind the former foreign minister's candidacy.

"The base and leadership (of Diko) are united as never before," the paper said.

The right-wing dailies, backing President Clerides's re-election campaign, put a somewhat different interpretation on the Diko conference.

"Notable absences" was the banner headline for Alithia's story on the conference. The paper claimed that many Diko big-wigs were unhappy with the decision to back Iacovou, and said they had been conspicuous by their absence from the Diko conference.

Alithia said the still secret agreement Kyprianou had forged with Akel to back Iacovou was proving a real headache for both parties.

Kyprianou was described as being "out of order" for saying - in his address before the conference - that a "mini junta" surrounded Clerides.

Simerini also picked up on Kyprianou's "junta" claims, reporting the response of Disy leader Nicos Anastassiades: that Kyprianou, in order to get himself elected on a Disy-Diko ticket, had initially sought the co-operation of the very people he now described as a "mini junta".

Machi reported - under the headline "exclusive" - that the Akel-Diko agreement to back Iacovou was non-existent, a "phantom agreement". Kyprianou refers to a written agreement and Iacovou to a verbal pact, Machi claimed.

The right-wing daily also charged Haravghi and Akel with attempting to "intimidate and silence" journalists opposed to Iacovou's candidacy.

Machi also claimed that the applause for Iacovou at the Diko conference came from Akel supporters and not genuine Diko followers.

© Copyright Cyprus Mail 1997

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