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Cyprus Mail: Press Review in English, 98-01-16

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From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Friday, January 16, 1998

Election issues dominate

THE bitter election campaign, plans by Akel to change the election law and reports of a big push on Cyprus after the elections were the main stories in yesterday's newspapers.

Phileleftheros leads on the bitter exchanges between chief presidential contenders Glafcos Clerides and George Iacovou over defence issues. The joint defence dogma with Greece and the deployment of the S-300 missiles had entered the election fray, while Clerides had found himself under fire from Iacovou and Diko president Spyros Kyprianou over his statement on the settlers. According to Iacovou, Clerides "courageous views" on the settlers had given the green light to EU officials to make statements which undermine the Republic of Cyprus.

Haravgi also leads on criticism from the opposition to Clerides' statements. It says the President's remarks was a major faux pas which undermines the unanimous views of the Greek-Cypriot side and UN resolutions. The paper says Clerides' statements had been slammed by Akel, Diko, Edek, the United Democrats and the New Horizons parties.

Simerini leads on an Akel proposal to change the electoral law so that votes will be counted in district voting centres -- and not at polling stations as recently proposed by the government and approved by the House of Representatives. Adoption of the Akel proposal would cost the state an extra 500,000 and lead to great upheaval because state services will have to adapt to new requirements, the paper quoted election officials as telling the House Interior Committee yesterday.

Alithia leads on a big meeting scheduled to take place in Washington yesterday between officials of the European Union led by British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook and the US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and senior officials of the Clinton administration.

At the same time the UN special advisor on Cyprus Diego Cordovez has been called to Moscow to discuss the Cyprus issue with Russian foreign ministry officials as part of contacts underway in preparation for the big push on the Cyprus issue expected in March, the paper says.

Agon also leads on the Washington meeting which it says would set the course of action on the Cyprus problem by the United States and Britain after the presidential elections.

In a separate front-page story Agon reports that two school girls missing from their homes for three days had been found by police.

Machi leads on a report that Akel members were bribing voters to back George Iacovou for the presidency. The paper says the party was approaching people with financial problems, mostly the aged whom they help, take to clubs and offer food and money.

© Copyright Cyprus Mail 1998

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