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Cyprus Mail: Press Review in English, 98-01-01

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From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Thursday, January 1, 1998

Field day with 'mini junta'

THE HOSTILE reaction to Diko leader Spyros Kyprianou's remark that President Clerides was surrounded by a "mini-junta" received wide coverage.

Simerini claimed that Kyprianou's remark had created more tension and had been condemned by all parties except Akel and Diko, the backers of George Iacovou's candidacy. It quoted party leaders as describing the remark as a "political slip" and "a bad joke".

Meanwhile, Kyprianou had "indirectly admitted making a mistake", by saying that "we may have said more than we should have said". He also said that he was talking about a "political junta" and not a military one.

Phileleftheros reported Clerides' response to the "mini-junta" jibe. Clerides had said that the "mini junta" Kyprianou had referred to comprised of the Ministers of Finance and Foreign Affairs, the government spokesman, the under-secretary to the president, and two members of the presidential guard.

The president claimed that Kyprianou had promised to keep the members of the "mini junta" in his future government if Clerides backed him for the presidency. Kyprianou denied this, adding that it was the former Disy leadership which had described Clerides' associates as a "mini junta".

Agon led with the statement by Diko Vice-president Dinos Michaelides, who had served as a minister in the Clerides government. Michaelides had said it would be "morally unacceptable and politically dishonest" to become involved in the presidential election, criticising the president he had served for more than four years.

Machi identified a strong wave of reaction within Diko to the decision to back Iacovou's candidacy. It gave coverage to Michaelides' statement calling on Kyprianou to be a candidate, as well as comments made by other Diko members opposed to backing Iacovou.

They were former government spokesman Petros Voskarides and Larnaca mayor George Lykourgos.

Alithia reported that, if re-elected, Clerides would form a more representative government, appointing ministers from all sections of the political spectrum.

Presidential palace sources said that the political parties had been informed about this intention and the president had already chosen who to appoint.

Haravghi, under the headline "Victory is ours", said that the Philoxenia Hotel auditorium was too small to take all "the resistance fighters" who had gathered to voice their support for Iacovou.

It said the "progressive, democratic and resistance forces of the country" had re-united behind the ideals of "democracy and resistance to the treacherous coup".

© Copyright Cyprus Mail 1998

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