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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 98-02-03

Cyprus News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] New poll gives Iacovou the lead
  • [02] Two rounds for Cyprus elections

  • 1050:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] New poll gives Iacovou the lead

    Nicosia, Feb 3 (CNA) -- Independent candidate, George Iacovou takes the lead in the election race, leaving incumbent President Glafcos Clerides in second place, according to the most recent opinion poll, announced last night.

    The poll, conducted by AMER and shown by Antenna TV, says that Iacovou concentrates 38,9 per cent of the vote in the first round next Sunday (February 8) and 47,1 per cent in the second, the following Sunday (February 15). Clerides receives 36,5 per cent and 45,6 per cent, respectively.

    A previous AMER opinion poll, conducted last month, predicted Clerides would beat Iacovou in the second round by a marginal 0,1 per cent.

    Sevety-eight year-old Clerides remains, however, the favourite of first- time voters (18-year-olds), concentrating 44,8 per cent of the vote as opposed to 29,1 per cent expressing support for Iacovou.

    The new poll shows an increase in the percentage of all remaining candidates in the first round of elections, except Liberal leader, Nicos Rolandis.

    Figures show that Socialist EDEK leader Vassos Lyssarides concentrates 9 per cent of the vote, former President, leader of United Democrats, George Vassiliou 5,9 per cent, DIKO dissident Alexis Galanos 4,2 per cent, New Horizons leader, Nicos Koutsou 1,9 per cent and Liberal leader, Nicos Rolandis 0,6 per cent.

    The percentage of blank votes also increases by some 1,7 per cent compared to the previous poll, reaching 3,7 per cent of voters, while the numbers of voters not knowing whom to vote for dropped from over 5 per cent to 3,7 per cent according to this opinion poll.

    CNA MCH/GP/1998

    [02] Two rounds for Cyprus elections

    by Myria Antoniadou

    Nicosia, Feb 3 (CNA) -- With only five days to go until Sunday's presidential elections in Cyprus their outcome cannot be predicted as opinion polls show that the two best placed candidates are neck-to-neck.

    Of the record number of seven candidates contesting the elections no one seems to obtain the necessary 50 per cent plus of the vote to be elected in the first round.

    A second round of elections is almost certain to take place on Sunday, February 15, between incumbent President Glafcos Clerides, supported by rightwing Democratic Rally party (DISI), and George Iacovou, backed by leftwing AKEL and centre right Democratic Party (DIKO).

    Out of the 446.731 voters in the seventh presidential elections to be held in the Republic since its establishment in 1960, 25.952 are between 18 and 20 years-old.

    Young Cypriots are voting for the first time after a change in the constitution, last November, lowering the age limit from 21 to 18.

    Opinion polls show that youngsters prefer 78-year-old Glafcos Clerides, a man nearly four times their age, contesting the elections for the fourth time.

    His main rival, contesting the elections for the first time, is George Iacovou, 60, well known among Cypriots as he served as Foreign Minister for 10 years in two governments.

    Two party leaders participating in elections for the third time are Socialist EDEK President, Vassos Lyssarides, 77, (former House of Representatives President) and United Democrats leader, former President George Vassiliou, 66.

    The percentage of the vote they gain and their stance in the second round is considered determining to the outcome of the elections.

    The remaining three contestants, participating in elections for the first time, are former Foreign Minister and leader of the Liberal Party, Nicos Rolandis, 64, New Horizons party leader, Nicos Koutsou, 57, and former House of Representatives President and former DIKO Vice-President, Alexis Galanos.

    Voting, which is compulsory, will begin at 7.00 AM and will end at 17.00 PM, local time, with an hour's break at mid-day.

    A total of 1.023 polling centres will operate in four districts of the government-controlled areas of the Republic.

    In Nicosia there will be 379 centres, in Limassol 318, in the government-controlled areas of Famagusta district 44, in Larnaca 162 and in Paphos 120.

    No polling will take place in the sixth district, Kyrenia, occupied since Turkish troops invaded the island in 1974.

    Five special polling stations will operate in the free areas of the Republic for the estimated 500 Greek Cypriots and Maronites, mainly elderly, living in the Turkish-occupied areas.

    Most voters live in the Nicosia district (183.699), followed by Limassol (126.310), Larnaca (73.931), Paphos (39.114) and Famagusta (23.677).

    The age group 30-39 concentrates the largest number of voters (92.000), of which 46.923 are men and 45.077 women. However, in total, women voters are more than men, 227.418 as opposed to 219.313.

    The pre-election campaign mainly focused on issues relating to the protracted Cyprus problem and the Repulic's bid to join the European Union (EU).

    These are the two main issues the new President of the Republic will have to tackle, as efforts for a Cyprus settlement are scheduled to begin after the elections and EU accession talks in April.

    CNA MA/GP/1998
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