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Cyprus Mail: Press Review in English, 97-10-24

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From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Friday, October 24, 1997

Mixed reports on "third man"

ALL the papers led with reports about the presidential elections, looking at the possibility of Diko and Disy backing a third candidate instead of President Clerides or Spyros Kyprianou.

Alithia reported that both Disy and Diko had officially rejected the possibility of backing a "third candidate". The denial by Disy was particularly significant as in the last few days there had been rumours that the party would back the candidacy of one of its members.

It quoted Disy leader Nicos Anastassiades, Finance Minister Christodoulos Christodoulou and Disy vice-president Ouranios Ioannides, as saying that the party would back the candidacy of Glafkos Clerides. This was the unanimous decision of the party's pancyprian conference.

Simerini adopts the same approach, describing the "search for a third man", in an attempt to save the Diko-Disy alliance, as a "science fiction script". Election alliances were next to impossible to achieve as all the parties - Diko, Disy, Edek, Akel and United Democrats - had taken decisions to back their own candidates in the elections.

Phileleftheros insisted however that, behind the scenes, efforts were still being made to find a third candidate. This despite Diko's written statement that Kyprianou would be a candidate.

It said that Diko officials were having contacts with people from the Left and from the Right in order to find a third candidate. One name suggested was former Finance Minister Christos Mavrellis, a Diko man from Limassol who had served in a Kyprianou government.

Machi claimed that a group of people from the centre-right have been undermining the candidacies of Clerides and Kyprianou, supporting, as the best solution, the candidacy of either former Disy leader, Yiannakis Matsis or Attorney-general Alecos Markides.

The group was made up of members of Diko and Disy as well as powerful businessmen, the paper said. It had also tried to secure the support of parties of the Left such as Edek and Akel.

Agon said that Diko and Disy officials had been working quietly in an effort to save the alliance. They have been trying to persuade Kyprianou to put off the meeting of the Diko central committee which is expected to ratify the decision to end the alliance with Disy.

Haravghi continued with its daily promotion of the candidacy of Akel-backed George Iacovou. It led with a comment by Akel deputy, Nicos Katsourides, who said: "In February 1998, democracy will enter the presidential palace with president George Iacovou whose election is a certainty."

© Copyright 1997 Cyprus Mail

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