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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 98-02-10

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] EDEK sets terms for new President
  • [02] Galanos to back Clerides in presidential race
  • [03] Galanos gets Clerides' promises
  • [04] Parties discuss proposal for all-party government

  • 1115:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] EDEK sets terms for new President

    Nicosia, Feb 10 (CNA) --A blueprint for cooperation with the new Cyprus President, who will emerge from Sunday's runoff, demands a government with the participation of all parties, the establishment of a Council of National Policy (CNP) and changes in the domestic front to improve the quality of life.

    The document was presented last night to the two candidates for the presidency by the socialist EDEK party leader Vassos Lyssarides. His impressive results in Sunday's first round of elections places him in a position where he can sway the election result either way for the two rivals.

    Lyssarides garnered 10,59 per cent of the vote, and the two presidential hopefuls, incumbent President Glafcos Clerides seeking a second term and independent former Foreign Minister George Iacovou, will need all the votes they can get to win the election.

    Last Sunday's first round of voting showed a marginal difference between the two of only half a percentage unit.

    The seven-page document acknowledges that there will be "crucial developments in the Cyprus problem and therefore decisions should be joint and responsibilities collective."

    It demands "guarantees" from the new President that he will form a government made up of all the political parties and that he reshapes the National Council, the top advisory body on the handling of the Cyprus question to the President, and turns it into a Council of National Policy.

    The CNP will comprise the President of the Republic, former Cyprus Presidents and the leaders of parliamentary parties.

    Every effort will be made to take unanimous decisions on important matters but failing this, decisions will be taken not by simple majority, the blueprint says.

    EDEK demands Council decisions to be binding for the President unless he maintains strong opposing views and uses his veto power, in which case the President will have to put the matter to the people in a referendum.

    The work of the Council will be assisted by a secretariat and a think tank of legal and constitutional experts, it adds.

    The primary objectives of the terms laid down in the "Proposal for Unity and Prospects" for both candidates are to achieve "unity and ensure a collective decision-making process as well as collective responsibility in the handling of the national issue through an ecumenical government."

    They also aim to ensure that a settlement in Cyprus will be just and to safeguard democratic institutions and improve the quality of life.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 per cent of its territory.

    Furthermore, the new President should commit himself to Cyprus' course for membership of the European Union, to enhance ties with Greece, full backing for the existing joint defence pact with Greece without necessarily a legal framework or a formal agreement with Greece on the matter and a refusal to negotiate or even discuss the issue of sovereignty of the future federal Cyprus, that will emerge from the peace process.

    On the home front, EDEK wants to see the new President doing more to promote meritocracy, provide more social benefits, including a national health system, set up a national forum for the protection of the environment and increase funding to education.

    CNA MM/GP/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1200:CYPPRESS:02

    [02] Galanos to back Clerides in presidential race

    Nicosia, Feb 10 (CNA) -- Glafcos Clerides' bid for re-election was given a boost today after one of the losers in Sunday's first round of presidential elections announced he would back the President's bid.

    Alexis Galanos, who won a sizeable share of the vote accounting for 4, 04 per cent of the total, announced his decision during a press conference here today.

    Two of the original seven presidential hopefuls will contest Sunday's final round of elections, Clerides who is backed by the Democratic Rally and former Foreign Minister George Iacovou, supported by leftwing AKEL and the centre-right Democratic Party (DIKO).

    MP Galanos, former House President, was expelled from the ranks of the party he has served for years, the Democratic Party, when he said he would run for the presidency, against party wishes to back independent candidate Iacovou.

    Galanos won the full backing of DIKO Vice-President Dinos Michaelides, former Interior Minister, who also disagreed with the party choice of candidate. MORE LATER

    CNA MM/GP/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1340:CYPPRESS:03

    [03] Galanos gets Clerides' promises

    Nicosia, Feb 10 (CNA) -- A pledge by incumbent President Glafcos Clerides to form a government of national unity is the main reason that has led Alexis Galanos, one of the seven presidential hopefuls of the first round of elections, to back Clerides' bid for re-election next Sunday.

    "I decided to support Clerides after the commitment I secured from him that he would form a government of national unity or failing that, a government which would enjoy broad acceptance," Galanos told a press conference today.

    Galanos said he did not nor will he accept any office in exchange for his support for Clerides and stressed that his decision is not binding for any of the people who voted for him.

    The second and final round of the presidential elections will take place this coming Sunday and will be contested by Clerides and former Foreign Minister George Iacovou.

    Galanos said a government of national unity will be "the best guarantee" that current efforts to settle the Cyprus question will continue, that the joint defence pact with Greece and Cyprus' close ties with the Greek government will be safeguarded and that the Republic's European aspirations for accession will continue.

    The former House President, who was shunned by his party the Democratic Party when he announced his bid for the presidency, acknowledged that he was a severe critic of Clerides' administration in the past five years but noted also that the administration has made a considerable contribution.

    "I believe that in the next five years there are even better prospects to continue and enhance the work already achieved so far," Galanos said.

    Expressing full faith in Clerides that he would honour his word, Galanos called on DIKO supporters to back Clerides' bid and pointed out that only a very small percentage of the party faithful actually voted for the party choice, independent candidate and former Foreign Minister George Iacovou.

    DIKO vice-president, Dinos Michaelides, who backed Galanos' presidential bid in last Sunday's first round of elections, told the press conference the only person who "can and should become President of the Republic is President Clerides."

    Michaelides, who served as Minister of the Interior in Clerides' administration, praised Clerides' achievements in efforts to promote a just and lasting settlement of the Cyprus question, enhance the country's defences and bring it closer to Europe.

    CNA MM/GP/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1410:CYPPRESS:04

    [04] Parties discuss proposal for all-party government

    Nicosia, Feb 10 (CNA) -- A proposal from socialist party EDEK to form a government representing the entire political spectrum, to agree on the handling of the Cyprus issue and sort out domestic affairs is at the centre of today's consultations among political leaders.

    EDEK president Vassos Lyssarides handed the six-page blueprint to the two presidential hopefuls in Sunday's elections, incumbent President Glafcos Clerides and former Foreign Minister, George Iacovou, late yesterday.

    Lyssarides has said he expects a written reply from both candidates, which he will present to a party meeting on Wednesday for a final decision on its stance in the upcoming elections.

    The EDEK president managed to garner over 10 per cent in last Sunday's first round of elections, giving him a say in who will be the next president of the Cyprus Republic.

    Iacovou has said he would study EDEK's blueprint "carefully" but did not seem to think Lyssarides' proposal for an all-party government was the focal point of the document.

    Nicos Anastasiades, leader of the Democratic Rally party, said both he and President Clerides see EDEK's proposals "in a favourable light" and noted "in principle I do not think there is any substantive divergence of views."

    Referring to Lyssarides as a "historic leader", he said if anybody can achieve national unity, it is Lyssarides.

    Demetris Christofias, General Secretary of the leftwing AKEL party, said his party would examine Lyssarides' proposal and would make its suggestions to George Iacovou, the party's choice for the presidency.

    "Iacovou will take the final decision on this matter. We believe that it would be difficult to form a government of national unity and equally difficult to see it functioning properly, especially if Clerides is president," he added.

    Spyros Kyprianou, leader of DIKO and House President, said personally he did not object to a government of national unity and that he will study the EDEK proposal.

    He added it is up to Iacovou, also backed by DIKO, to take the final decision.

    Alexis Galanos, who disagreed with his party's (DIKO's) decision and stood as an independent candidate, said he fully backs EDEK's proposal and pointed out he discussed the issue with President Clerides.

    Galanos said the formation of an all-party government was one of the commitments Clerides made before the president gained his support.

    Liberal party leader, Nicos Rolandis, who also contested last Sunday's elections refrained from commenting on EDEK's proposal until it is handed to him.

    New Horizons' leader, Nicos Koutsou, said participation in Clerides' new government was not discussed at his meeting this morning with the President, nor is it a condition for his party's support for Clerides, to be decided later today.

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