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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 98-02-12

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Clerides wins support from small party, EDEK postpones decision
  • [02] Cypriot School in World Championship

  • 0840:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Clerides wins support from small party, EDEK postpones decision

    Nicosia, Feb 12 (CNA) -- Socialist party EDEK, a powerbroker in Sunday's presidential elections, postponed a decision on the party stand in the runoff on February 15 for today.

    Meanwhile another party, United Democrats, decided late last night to back incumbent President Glafcos Clerides' bid for re-election.

    EDEK central committee met Wednesday for more than eight hours but failed to come up with a decision. Reports suggest that the party may give its members and supporters the right to vote at will, instead of opting to back one of the two candidates.

    Both Clerides and former Foreign Minister George Iacovou are battling it out this Sunday and desperately need any votes they can get as there is only half a percentage point between them.

    Clerides, backed by the Democratic Rally, won 40,06 per cent of the vote and Iacovou, backed by leftwing AKEL and the centre-right Democratic Party, got 40,61 per cent.

    EDEK's leader Vassos Lyssarides won 10.59 per cent of the vote in last Sunday's first round of elections, a figure which could sway the election result either way, should the party decide to back one of the two front- runners.

    Yiannakis Omirou, EDEK's first vice-president, said the majority of the party faithful consider vote at will the best choice for the party.

    George Vassiliou, former Cyprus President and leader of the United Democrats, said last night the decision was taken after "serious consideration" and explained that the crucial period Cyprus will have to face in the coming months led the party to take a stance, and avoid the option for a vote at will.

    He said party members, who disagree with the party line, can vote as they wish.

    The decision was taken at last night's lengthy meeting of the Central Council with 111 votes in favour, against 74 votes for Iacovou's bid and 25 Council members opted for a vote for the candidate of their own choice.

    Vassiliou will meet Clerides today to inform him about the decision and then give a press conference.

    Iacovou said in a statement last night the overwhelming majority of the United Democrats will vote for him, in spite of the party line.

    CNA MM/GP/1998

    [02] Cypriot School in World Championship

    Nicosia, Feb 12 (CNA) -- A four-member team from the English School represented Cyprus in the 10th World Schools Debating Championship, which took place in Israel between 1-5 February.

    The Cypriot team, comprised one girl and three boys, competed with over 200 participants from 26 countries and managed to reach the quarter-finals.

    Yiannis Georgiou, the teacher in charge of the team, told CNA the team performed well and won four out of eight debates, against Moldova, Slovenia, Germany and Lithuania and narrowly missed defeating giants New Zealand and Ireland.

    "This was the first time a Cypriot team participated in this tournament which brings together the best young debaters of each nation," Georgiou added.

    The team, he noted, achieved its targets and hopes to return to the UK in January next year.

    The English School, which has a successful record in international public speaking and debating as a school in Canada and the UK, was invited to attend the competition in Israel through Georgiou, who selected the competing team from the School's Debating Society.

    The Championship was won by Australia who beat the Scottish team in the grand final which took place in the Knesset (Israeli parliament).

    The English School will be represented in the "World Debating and Public Speaking Competition" in Buenos Aires in March this year.

    CNA MM/GP/1998
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