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Cyprus Mail: Press Review in English, 98-01-08

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From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Thursday, January 8, 1998

Rivals exchange below-the-belt blows

MOST papers focused on the exchange of below-the-belt blows between the Akel leader, Demetris Christofias and President Clerides' camp. Christofias had claimed that Clerides, who was too old to govern, had brought Eoka B to power, while the president replied that the Akel leader needed to see a doctor.

Alithia hit back, saying that Christofias' comments proved two things: "the sick mentality that characterises the Cyprus communist party and Akel's panic" on realising that Diko's decision to back the candidacy of George Iacovou did not have the desired effect.

It also said that Christofias' "unprecedented attack exceeded all limits of tolerance, replacing political arguments with shameless distortions of the truth".

This was a way of uniting Akel supporters who are opposed to Iacovou's candidacy, it added.

Machi, which belongs to the same camp, described Christofias' attack as unethical and said that it made a mockery of political life.

It also said that the Eoka B remark was wrong as many close associates of Archbishop Makarios were now backing Clerides.

It also quoted Disy leader Nicos Anastassiades as saying that Christofias needed to be seen by a doctor, and indirectly, referring to the Akel chief's long-term health problems.

Phileleftheros, keeping a safe distance from both camps, reported a climate of political polarisation. Disy, dismissing Iacovou as a public servant, tried to get the message across that the re-election of an experienced politician like Clerides was a "national imperative".

Haravghi, the Akel mouthpiece, gave particular prominence to Christofias' assertion that Clerides, at the age of 80, cannot govern.

His election would leave "Cyprus without a president and a negotiator and would multiply the dangers of the imposition of a partitionist settlement by foreigners".

It also carried a Iacovou announcement, saying that Anastassiades' remarks illustrated the Disy chief's confusion.

Simerini reported the accusations made by independent candidate Alexis Galanos against Diko leader Spyros Kyprianou.

He claimed that Diko members were under constant pressure from Kyprianou, who is urging them not to vote for Galanos.

Galanos insisted that he was the "real Diko candidate", adding that the party was being run by the Kyprianou family which promoted its own narrow interests.

Agon, reported that Diko parliamentary spokesman Tassos Papadopoulos had refused to attend a gathering of Diko members addressed by Iacovou.

This implied that Papadopoulos was opposed to Iacovou's candidacy, it added.

© Copyright Cyprus Mail 1998

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