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Cyprus Mail: Press Review in English, 98-01-17

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From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Saturday, January 17, 1998

Election debate disappointing

THE fall-out from a much-awaited television debate between the seven candidates in the presidential elections, the on-going row in Diko and results of a new opinion poll are some of the main stories in yesterday's press.

Simerini leads on the television showdown on the presidential elections, which it calls a "discussion without substance by presidential candidates." It says no new points emerged during the debate, and the approach on many issues was superficial.

In another story on the presidential elections, the paper reports on the decision of the House of Representatives to change back the election law so that the count will be held in district centres rather than polling stations.

Haravgi also leads on the television debate, which it says saw President Clerides come under fire for his policies and his "arrogance".

In another election story, the paper says police chief Panicos Hadjiloizou has been campaigning in support of Clerides's re-election in villages in the free Famagusta area.

Alithia leads on the crisis in Diko. It says a majority within Diko disagrees with the party's decision to back George Iacovou for the presidency. The paper also reports on the response from four Diko dissenters to calls from their party to make clear their position on the elections. Their reply came hours before a planned meeting of the executive office on whether to take disciplinary measures against them.

Phileleftheros also leads on the crisis in Diko. It says crucial decisions were expected at yesterday afternoon's meeting of the executive office, with all indications being that former vice-president Alexis Galanos, who is running as an independent, will be thrown out of the party. It was unclear how much the party wanted to stretch the rope with another key dissenter, current vice-president Dinos Michaelides, the newspaper adds.

Agon and Machi both lead on the results of an opinion poll conducted by M&amp;R Euroresearch and made public on Thursday. The poll, which covered a sample of 1,300 people, was carried out between January 2-8. It showed Clerides securing 35 per cent of the vote, George Iacovou 31.7 per cent, Vassos Lyssarides 7.6 per cent, George Vassiliou 5.4 per cent, Alexis Galanos 4.2 per cent, Nicos Rolandis 0.2 per cent and Nicos Koutsou 1.7 per cent. Another 3.3 per cent were blank votes, 9.3 per cent were undecided and 0.7 per cent would not reply. When these votes were distributed among the candidates Clerides leads Iacovou by 40.3 per cent to 37.1 per cent.

© Copyright Cyprus Mail 1998

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