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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (PM), 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] Police arrest taxi driver for French woman's disappearance
  • [02] Voting ends, ballot boxes taken to counting centres
  • [03] Counting of votes begins - Interior Minister fully satisfied
  • [04] Election results - five per cent of overall vote
  • [05] Clerides leads with nearly quarter of the votes counted
  • [06] Iacovou has clear lead in Paphos district
  • [07] Slight lead for Iacovou half-way through the vote
  • [08] Clerides leads by far in Famagusta district
  • [09] Iacovou leads presidential race
  • [10] Iacovou victory in Larnaca District
  • [11] Comments by five presidential hopefuls

  • 1650:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Police arrest taxi driver for French woman's disappearance

    Nicosia, Feb 8 (CNA) -- A 36-year-old taxi driver was arrested today in connection with the disappearance of a French woman, who had come to Cyprus for holidays and failed to return home as scheduled.

    Cyprus police announced Kyriakos Zana was arrested to help investigations into the kidnaping and murder of Francoise-Jacqueline Chomik, 49, a regional administrative council employee from Rhone-Alpes.

    Chomik came to Cyprus on Christmas day and was scheduled to leave January 1.

    Police said Zana, from the coastal village of Kiti in the Larnaca district, was arrested after blood found in the boot of his taxi was compared through DNA to blood taken from the French woman's mother and brother.

    "There is a big possibility the blood found in the taxi belongs to the missing woman," the police announcement says.

    A Cypriot police investigator visited France on February 4 to receive blood samples from her relatives for the necessary examinations at the Institute of Neurology and Genetics, in Nicosia.

    Police said final examinations and analysis by the Institute are expected to be completed by Wednesday.

    CNA MA/GP/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1745:CYPPRESS:02

    [02] Voting ends, ballot boxes taken to counting centres

    Nicosia, Feb 8 (CNA) -- Voting for the election of the new president of the Republic of Cyprus ended here this afternoon and the first results are expected to be announced by 19.00 local time (17.00 GMT).

    Polling stations closed at 17.00 local time (15.00 GMT), as scheduled, and ballot boxes are being carried to counting centres especially set up in all five districts in the government-controlled areas of Cyprus.

    Counting of the votes in Nicosia will take place at the International Conference Centre, in Limassol at the Olympia athletic centre, in the government-controlled areas of Famagusta at the Municipal Hall in Paralimni town, in Larnaca at the community centre and in Paphos at the athletic centre Aphrodite.

    Votes will begin to be counted shortly after the arrival of the first ballot boxes, around 18.30 local time, by civil servants and party representatives.

    Final results are expected to be announced by midnight.

    Chief Returning Officer, Thanos Michael, said earlier today the first results are expected from the Paphos district around 19.00 local time.

    A total of 1.023 polling stations operated throughout the island today for a total number of 446.731 voters, out of whom 25.402 new voters.

    Six thousand civil servants are working today to make sure the elections are carried out smoothly.

    Police have closed off all but one of the roads leading to the International Conference Centre in Nicosia, which operates as the Returning Office headquarters, and have taken measures in all centres where votes will be counted.

    CNA MCH/MA/GP/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1920:CYPPRESS:03

    [03] Counting of votes begins - Interior Minister fully satisfied

    Nicosia, Feb 8 (CNA) -- As the counting of votes in the presidential elections started, Interior Minister George Stavrinakis expressed his satisfaction with the very orderly manner in which today's poll was conducted.

    "I am fully satisfied with the exemplary manner in which today's elections were carried out and the orderly manner voting took place," the Minister told a press conference this evening at the Cyprus International Conference Centre.

    Stavrinakis expressed the conviction that "the mild climate which we have witnessed so far will also prevail in next Sunday's round, if there is a second round."

    He also noted that people "showed once more political maturity and a civilised behaviour, proof that they not only believe but also serve democratic values."

    Voting ended in all 1,023 polling stations and around 92 per cent of the 446,731 registered voters cast their ballot today.

    "The smooth running of today's elections is undoubtedly the result of the collective effort by all competent authorities, candidates and political party representatives," the Minister added.

    Stavrinakis pointed out that the seven presidential candidates and political parties alike have cooperated "in a constructive manner with the Chief Returning Officer, Thanos Michael, and other authorities during the electoral campaign."

    Thanking Michael and others for their hard work, the Minister extended thanks to the Attorney General and his department for their advice and assistance as well as the Chief of Police and the entire police force.

    The Interior Minister also said the mass media played a pivotal role in the effort to inform accurately and objectively the public at large during the campaign.

    CNA MM/GP/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    2020:CYPPRESS:04

    [04] Election results - five per cent of overall vote

    Nicosia, Feb 8 (CNA) -- With nearly five per cent of the vote counted, George Iacovou, takes a narrow lead in today's presidential elections with only 98 votes ahead of incumbent President Glafcos Clerides, seeking re- election.

    According to official results, on 19,619 valid votes, former Foreign Minister Iacovou, who is backed by the leftwing AKEL party and the Democratic Party, polled 7,956, compared with Clerides, supported by the Democratic Rally, who garnered 7,858.

    Socialist EDEK leader Vassos Lyssarides, contesting the presidential elections for the third time, got 2,109 votes and Democratic Party deputy Alexis Galanos, standing against his party's wishes, got 817 votes so far.

    Former Cyprus President George Vassiliou, in his third bid for the presidency, got 566 votes and new-comer Nicos Koutsou, leader of New Horizons party, garnered 180 votes.

    Liberal party leader Nicos Rolandis received 133 votes.

    CNA MM/GP/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    2100:CYPPRESS:05

    [05] Clerides leads with nearly quarter of the votes counted

    Nicosia, Feb 8 (CNA) -- President Glafcos Clerides is slightly ahead of his main rival, George Iacovou, in today's presidential elections, with just over 22 per cent of the votes counted.

    Clerides, seeking a second term in office and supported by the Democratic Rally party, got just over 40 per cent of the vote, with 35,005 votes.

    Iacovou, backed by left-wing party AKEL and centre-right Democratic Party, gathered 39.46% of the votes counted so far, giving him 34,443 votes out of a total of 87,292 valid votes cast.

    Socialist EDEK leader Vassos Lyssarides obtained 9,738 votes, accounting for 11.16 per cent of the valid votes and Alexis Galanos, of the Democratic Party, standing in defiance of his party decision, got 3,783 votes, just over four per cent.

    George Vassiliou, former Cyprus president, got 3.20 per cent of the vote with 2,797 votes and Nicos Koutsou, of the New Horizons party, received 834 votes.

    Nicos Rolandis, leader of the Liberal party, received 0.79%, accounting for 692 votes.

    So far, 90.353 people cast their vote, out of a total of 446,732 registered voters. According to official results 87,292 votes were valid, 1, 980 invalid and 1,081 blank.

    Final results are expected at around midnight.

    CNA RG/MM/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    2210:CYPPRESS:06

    [06] Iacovou has clear lead in Paphos district

    Nicosia, Feb 8 (CNA) -- George Iacovou, former foreign minister contesting this year's presidential elections, has a clear lead over his main rival, incumbent President Glafcos Clerides, in Paphos district as the final results for the area were announced.

    George Iacovou, backed by leftwing party AKEL and centre-right Democratic Party, obtained 13,702 votes, accounting for 40.16 per cent of a total of 39,114 registered voters.

    President Clerides received 10,861 votes, recording a 31.83% of the vote in Paphos district.

    Socialist EDEK party leader, Vassos Lyssarides, received 19.13% with 6, 526 votes, and Alexis Galanos, deputy of the Democratic Party, got 4.08% with 1,391 votes.

    United Democrats leader, George Vassiliou, garnered 991 votes, accounting for 2.90%, and New Horizons leader, Nicos Koutsou, with 1.06% obtained 360 votes.

    Liberal Party leader, Nicos Rolandis, received 291 votes, which accounts for 0.85% of the vote.

    There were 39114 registered voters in 120 polling stations in the Paphos area. Out of 35683 votes cast, 34122 were valid, 1082 were non valid and 479 were blank.

    CNA RG/MM/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    2230:CYPPRESS:07

    [07] Slight lead for Iacovou half-way through the vote

    Nicosia, Feb 8 (CNA) -- The two front runners in the presidential elections, George Iacovou and Glafcos Clerides, are fighting the electoral battle neck and neck as counting reached half-way through.

    Iacovou, backed by left-wing party AKEL and the Democratic Party, has a narrow lead with fifty per cent of the votes counted.

    Iacovou received 41.04% of the vote with 81,702, followed by Clerides with 39.48% and 78,600 votes.

    With 50.38% of the 206,122 votes counted, Socialist EDEK party leader, Vassos Lyssarides, received 21,719 votes, accounting for 10.91%, and Democratic Party deputy Alexis Galanos, got 7,856, registering 3.95% of the vote.

    United Democrats leader, George Vassiliou, obtained 3.01% of the vote with 5,995 votes and New Horizons leader, Nicos Koutsou, received 1,784 votes, with 0.9%.

    Liberal Party leader, Nicos Rolandis, garnered 0.71% with 1,416 votes.

    CNA RG/MM/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    2235:CYPPRESS:08

    [08] Clerides leads by far in Famagusta district

    Nicosia, Feb 8 (CNA) -- Incumbent President, Glafcos Clerides, has a 15 per cent lead in the final results in Famagusta district, securing more than 50 per cent of the vote.

    With all the votes counted for the district, Clerides gathered 10,976 votes, just under half the total of 21,148 valid votes cast for the whole district, giving him 51.90 per cent.

    His main rival, independent candidate George Iacovou, garnered 36.31 per cent or 7,978 votes.

    Socialist EDEK leader, Vassos Lyssarides obtained 4.53 per cent, accounting for 957 votes, and Alexis Galanos, who broke ranks with the Democratic Party after it backed Iacovou, secured 3.41 per cent, which accounts for 722 votes.

    Former President of the Republic and president of the United Democrats, George Vassiliou, got 2.73 which is translated into 577 votes, while Nicos Koutsou of the New Horizons gathered 167 votes, 0.79 per cent.

    Nicos Rolandis of the Liberal Party received 0.34 per cent, totalling 71 votes.

    Out of the 23677 registered voters in Famagusta district, there were 292 blank votes and 498 invalid.

    CNA EC/MM/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    2310:CYPPRESS:09

    [09] Iacovou leads presidential race

    Nicosia, Feb 8 (CNA) -- With 76.77% of the votes counted in today's presidential elections, George Iacovou, supported by left-wing AKEL party and the Democratic Party, is in the lead with 41.12 percent.

    Right behind him is President Glafcos Clerides, supported by right-wing Democratic Rally, with 39.94 percent.

    So far, 315.044 votes of 446.732 have been counted, of which 304.359 were valid, 6.941 void and 3.744 blank.

    Meanwhile, EDEK socialist party leader, Vassos Lyssarides, has so far received 10.44%, United Democrats leader, George Vassiliou, 2.91%, Democratic Party MP, Alexis Galanos, 3.97%, New Horizons leader, Nicos Koutsou, 0.9%, and Liberal Party leader, Nicos Rolandis, 0.71%

    CNA RG/GP/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    2320:CYPPRESS:10

    [10] Iacovou victory in Larnaca District

    Nicosia, Feb 8 (CNA) -- George Iacovou, backed by leftwing party AKEL and centre-right Democratic Party, won the majority of votes in Larnaca District.

    Former Foreign Minister in two governments, secured a 45.15 per cent accounting for 29.736 votes cast.

    His main rival, incumbent President Glafcos Clerides trailed behind with 41.28 per cent or 27.190 votes.

    Socialist EDEK party leader, Vassos Lyssarides garnered 6.90 per cent, translated into 4.548 votes with Alexis Galanos, deputy of the Democratic Party, gaining 3.18 per cent, totalling 2.092 votes.

    Former President, United Democrats President George Vassiliou secured 2.20 per cent or 1.448 votes while New Horizons President, Nicos Koutsou received 0.88 per cent or 579 of the votes cast and Liberal Party leader, Nicos Rolandis gaining 0.42 per cent or 274 votes.

    There were 73.931 registered voters in 162 polling stations in Larnaca District. Out of the 67.934 votes cast, there were 65.867 valid, 1.255 invalid and 812 blank.

    CNA EC/GP/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    2350:CYPPRESS:11

    [11] Comments by five presidential hopefuls

    Nicosia, Feb 8 (CNA) -- As the results of the presidential elections keep coming in, candidates commented on the outcome so far, some with elated spirits, others with bitter disappointment.

    Socialist EDEK leader Vassos Lyssarides has every reason to be in an upbeat mood but former Cyprus president George Vassiliou and newcomer Nicos Koutsou, leader of the New Horizons party, appear very disappointed, while Liberal leader Nicos Rolandis did not rule out the possibility of him withdrawing from the political arena.

    Alexis Galanos, who run for the presidency against his party's wishes, was very economical with his statement to the press.

    Lyssarides, in an upbeat mood following a good showing of his candidacy, pledged to respond to the aspirations of the people, who with their vote gave the socialist party a pivotal role to play in the country's political scene.

    With more than three quarters of the votes counted, EDEK got over ten per cent of the vote, whereas in the 1996 parliamentary elections the party garnered just over eight per cent.

    He said EDEK is in the final stages of preparing its proposals to be submitted to the two front runners, who will contest the second and final round of elections next week and said these will also be submitted to other parties as well.

    "Party committees will meet on Monday to put the final touches to our proposals for the second round of the elections," he said.

    United Democrats leader, George Vassiliou, appeared very discouraged by the outcome of the vote so far and attributed the low percentage he received to rumours circulated in the pre-election period.

    "One cannot improve the very low percentage I received by any means," Vassiliou said and reiterated that his primary concern will continue to be the interest of the people of Cyprus.

    Vassiliou's party obtained over three per cent of the vote in May's parliamentary elections in 1996. Since then, his party joined forces with ADISOK party to form the United Democrats. ADISOK, which contested May's elections on its own, obtained nearly one and a half per cent of the vote.

    He said the votes he got, even a mere three per cent, "may turn out to be decisive" in the second round of the elections and stressed that his percentage so far is greatly disproportionate to the degree of respect the ordinary man in the street shows to him.

    New Horizons leader, Nicos Koutsou, in a subdued tone, said that according to the results so far, his party will find it difficult to maintain the percentage it received in the 1996 parliamentary elections.

    "We are not even getting the low percentage most opinions polls gave us, " Koutsou said.

    Asked what he will do in the run off of the elections, Koutsou said the party will decide on Tuesday.

    Rebel Democratic Party deputy, Alexis Galanos, who stood his ground despite being expelled from his party, said the decision to support one of the two remaining candidates in the second round of elections on February 15 will be based on matters of principle and not what will be given in exchange.

    Galanos, whose share of the vote should give him reason to be optimistic, also said that issues of importance are the Cyprus question and decent governance.

    He stressed that he will reach a decision about next Sunday's run off after hearing what the two main candidates who will contest the election have to say.

    Liberal Party leader, Nicos Rolandis, repeated a previous statement that he will withdraw from the political scene of the island if he receives around 1.8% of the vote.

    "The result so far indicates that there are polarizing trends even in today's first round of the elections, and this is due to the desire of the two main sides to show theirs is in the lead," Rolandis said.

    He said his party will decide by Wednesday what its next moves will be.

    CNA RG/MM/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY

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