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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 98-02-08

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <http://www.cyna.org.cy>


CONTENTS

  • [01] Voting for new president begins
  • [02] Media election coverage in full swing
  • [03] Voting continues
  • [04] Enclaved people vote in presidential elections
  • [05] Candidates cast vote, orderly elections underway
  • [06] Half electorate cast vote

  • 0740:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Voting for new president begins

    Nicosia, Feb 8 (CNA) -- Voting for the election of the new President of the Republic of Cyprus, for a five year term, got underway at 07.00 A.M. local time today (05.00 GMT).

    A record number of seven candidates are contesting the eighth presidential elections in the Republic since its establishment in 1960.

    Around three thousand policemen are on duty today to ensure the smooth running of the elections.

    A second round of elections is almost certain to take place on Sunday 15 February, as none of the presidential hopefuls is likely to obtain the necessary 50 per cent plus of the vote.

    A total of 446.731 voters will cast their ballot at 1,023 polling stations, which have opened in all five districts of the government controlled areas of the island.

    Greek Cypriots and Maronites living in the northern part of Cyprus, occupied by Turkish troops since they invaded in 1974, will vote at four specially designated polling stations.

    All presidential candidates will cast their vote at election centres in Nicosia.

    Voting will stop for an hour at noon and will resume until 17.00 local time (15.00 GMT).

    Ballot boxes will then be transferred to five centres in an equal number of districts and counting of the votes will begin immediately.

    Final results are expected to be announced at around midnight.

    The first presidential elections in Cyprus were held in 1959. More elections were held in 1968, 1983, 1988 and 1993. Two rounds of elections, in 1973 and 1978, did not take place as these were contested by only one candidate (the late Archbishop Makarios III in 1973 and current House President Spyros Kyprianou in 1978) who was elected to the presidency unopposed.

    CNA MA/MM/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    0940:CYPPRESS:02

    [02] Media election coverage in full swing

    Nicosia, Feb 8 (CNA) -- Photographs and slogans backing the seven presidential hopefuls in today's elections feature prominently on the front pages of the local newspapers.

    The eighth presidential elections are the main topic in both the written and electronic media. Television networks have day-long live coverage of today's events, with comments and analysis from election experts and political observers.

    "Simerini" and "Phileleptheros" show pictures of all seven candidates for the presidency.

    Incumbent President Glafcos Clerides' picture covers almost the entire front page of "Machi" and appears prominently on the front page of "Alithia".

    The front and back pages of the daily "Ta Nea" are covered with a full picture of Socialist EDEK leader Vassos Lyssarides while "Haravgi" features independent candidate George Iacovou.

    Foreign media representatives are also covering the elections, and some 40 Turkish Cypriot journalists have crossed to the government controlled areas of the Republic for the event.

    CNA MCH/MM/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1155:CYPPRESS:03

    [03] Voting continues

    Nicosia, Feb 8 (CNA) -- Around 20 per cent of the electorate has already cast its vote three hours into the start of the presidential elections.

    The Central Elections Service announced that voting, which began at 0700 local time (0500 GMT), continued smoothly throughout the government controlled areas of the Republic.

    Twenty per cent of the electorate in Nicosia, Limassol, Paphos and Famagusta districts cast their vote by 1000 a.m. (0800 GMT) and 18 per cent in Larnaca.

    Voting will stop for one hour at noon and will resume until 1700 (1500 GMT).

    CNA EC/MM/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1305:CYPPRESS:04

    [04] Enclaved people vote in presidential elections

    Nicosia, Feb 8 (CNA) -- Greek Cypriot and Maronite enclaved, living in the Turkish-occupied part of Cyprus, came today to the government-controlled areas to vote in the Republic's eighth presidential elections.

    Expressing satisfaction because they were able to exercise their constitutional right, the enclaved also expressed the wish Cyprus will soon be re-united.

    There are four polling stations where the some 480 enclaved voters can vote, one in each of the four towns in the free areas of the Republic.

    The enclaved were taken to the polling stations by Red Cross buses.

    CNA MCH/GP/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1320:CYPPRESS:05

    [05] Candidates cast vote, orderly elections underway

    Nicosia, Feb 8 (CNA) -- Voting continued in an orderly manner throughout the Republic's government controlled areas in today's presidential elections with most candidates praising the democratic principles that prevail on the day and expressing high hopes for a successful outcome.

    Polling stations took an hour's break at noon and voting will continue until 17.00 local time (15.00 GMT).

    The seven presidential hopefuls, in brief statements to the press reiterated their respective slogans with reserved optimism, as legislation bars them from making any substantive comments directly or indirectly related to the elections.

    Glafcos Clerides, seeking re-election, counts on his experience and expertise in the political arena to retain his post and stressed the need for unity with a promise to form a widely accepted government.

    Second front-runner, George Iacovou, challenges the incumbent President on the need for a change of government and a new approach.

    Vassos Lyssarides reckons his party will play a crucial role in determining the outcome of the elections and George Vassiliou, former Cyprus President, calls for unity and cooperation.

    Alexis Galanos, deputy with the Democratic Party, stresses the importance of these elections, noting that the future of Cyprus might be at stake from their outcome.

    First time comer, Nicos Koutsou, counts on a fresh approach and proclaims his vision for a unitary state, not a federated Cyprus and Liberal party leader Nicos Rolandis believes the new president will have to deal with difficult times ahead.

    Clerides described today's elections as "highly important" because "their result will determine whether initiatives will be launched for a solution to the Cyprus problem".

    Expressing confidence in the judgement of Cypriot voters, Clerides said that if he is re-elected he will welcome all those wiling to cooperate with him in the new government.

    "I have faith in the Cypriot voter and I hope my trust in him will be vindicated," Clerides said.

    Clerides' main rival, George Iacovou, former foreign minister, said he trusted "the people's judgement and is optimistic about the outcome."

    "This day belongs to the people and to democracy," Iacovou added, noting that the people of Cyprus will exercise freely their right to elect the person who would lead them in the next five years.

    Socialist EDEK leader, Vassos Lyssarides, reaffirmed his party will play an definitive role in the second round of presidential elections next Sunday.

    Pointing out that this is a very difficult role, Lyssarides stressed, "our basic aim is a widely accepted national strategy", that would lead to a solution of the Cyprus problem.

    He added, however, that he has not submitted his party's proposal to either of the two leading contestants.

    Former President of the Republic and leader of United Democrats, George Vassiliou expressed the wish that the elections will run smoothly and thanked all those who supported his candidacy and voted for him.

    "Together we will have the power to tackle the problems Cyprus is facing and the difficult days that lie ahead", Vassiliou said.

    Alexis Galanos, former House President and deputy of the Democratic Party, said his candidacy is one of "resistance to old-party practices and to political sell-outs."

    "My message is to stress the need to introduce a new kind of mentality and a new approach," Galanos said. Shunned by his party when he announced his intention to run for the presidency, he appeared hopeful that Cypriots will entrust him with their votes.

    New Horizons' leader, Nicos Koutsou, referred to the continuing occupation of 37 per cent of the island by Turkey and expressed sadness because the Cyprus government cannot exercise its legitimate rights over the whole of the Republic.

    "Turkish occupation is even more painful today", he said, pointing out however, that "the will to fight until Cyprus is liberated is growing stronger".

    Leader of the Liberal party, Nicos Rolandis, said he was confident of a good election result and stressed that the new president should be in a position "to help Cyprus during these difficult times".

    Leader of the ruling right-wing Democratic Rally (DISY) party, Nicos Anastasiades, said the candidacy of Glafcos Clerides is the answer to the need for a capable, experienced and perceptive leader.

    "The election results will be a message of unity", Anastasiades added.

    Demetris Christofias, leader of the left-wing AKEL party, sounded optimistic that today's presidential contest will elect the candidate his party decided to back, George Iacovou.

    "I would not be surprised at all if AKEL members and supporters back, in their entirety, the party choice," he told the press after casting his vote.

    President of centre-right Democratic Party (DIKO), Spyros Kyprianou, said George Iacovou is sure to win the elections and did not rule out the possibility of not having to hold a second round of elections.

    "We can not speak with absolute certainty about election results, right now, but there is no doubt that Iacovou will be the winner with a substantial majority", he said.

    CNA MCH/MM/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1400:CYPPRESS:06

    [06] Half electorate cast vote

    Nicosia, Feb 8 (CNA) -- With the resumption of voting at 13.00 local time (1100 GMT), the Central Elections Service announced that more than half the registered voters have already voted.

    Voting in this year's presidential elections for nearly 450.000 Cypriots is scheduled to end at 17.00 local time (15.00 GMT).

    In Nicosia district just over 50 per cent of the electorate cast its vote by noon, while in Limassol district 60 per cent of the registered voters went to the polls.

    In Paphos district, on the west, 53 per cent voted, in Famagusta district 51 and in Larnaca 49.

    The elections are contested by a record number of candidates, seven in all, and this morning they all expressed cautious optimism about the outcome of the elections as they cast their vote.

    A second round is set to take place next Sunday as none of the seven candidates is likely to garner 50 per cent plus of the vote.

    CNA MM/MCH/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    CNA ENDS
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