|Tuesday, 21 March 2023|
Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 08-01-18
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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <http://www.cyna.org.cy>
 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS NINE CANDIDATESNine presidential hopefuls submitted their candidacy Friday for February`s elections.
Incumbent President Tassos Papadopoulos is seeking re-election, for a second term in office, and his main backer is the Democratic Party (DIKO), which he led for a number of years. Papadopoulos has also secured the support of the Social Democrats Movement EDEK, the European Party and the Ecologists.
House President, General Secretary of AKEL Demetris Christofias is running for the presidency, the first time AKEL has put forward its own candidate for the presidency. AKEL, a former coalition partner, announced its decision to contest the elections with Christofias in the summer, after EDEK had made public its support for Papadopoulos re-election bid.
Former Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides announced his decision to run in late spring 2007. He is backed by the Democratic Rally party.
Former Agriculture Minister Costas Themistocleous and Euro MP Marios Matsakis have also submitted their bit for presidential elections.
In addition to this, Andreas Efstratiou, Costas Kyriakou (Outopos), Anastasis Michael and Christodoulos Neofytou are also contesting these elections.
Each candidate was proposed by one person and seconded by another eight. In addition, they paid 1,710 euro for the privilege of being a candidate.
Election Day is February 17 for 515,994 registered voters. It is expected that a second round of elections will take place on Sunday 24, with the two candidates who secure most of the votes on February 17 going through to a final showdown.
Two former Presidents of the Republic and a former House President featured prominently among the supporters of the three main contenders who had to sign up the official documents according to legislation ex president, Glafcos Clerides backed his former foreign minister Kasoulides, past president George Vasiliou sponsored Christofias and former House President Vassos Lyssarides proposed Tassos Papadopoulos.
Their supporters and members of the political parties who back them cheered all three of them. The candidates were accompanied by their families and friends.
Papadopoulos said, This is a very moving and symbolic time for me, to put forward my candidacy, adding that he was very honoured to have been proposed by the honorary president of the Social Democrats Movement Vassos Lyssarides and supported by people who have contributed significantly to society at large.
We shall continue to claim, without any concessions, the solution we deserve and we can be optimistic because our fate and our future lie in our own hands, he added.
I am sure that together we shall succeed in this, President Papadopoulos said.
A visibly moved Christofias was proposed by his mother Anna as a very special honour owed to her, whom he thanked warmly and sincerely for all she has offered to me throughout the years.
He said, These are sacred moments for every democratic citizen, a culmination of democracy. My purpose is to serve the country, the ordinary man in the street and I can assure you I will do my utmost to find a just, viable and functional solution, based on principles that would reunite the country and the people and end every foreign military presence, in addition to providing a fair society which pays more attention to the ordinary citizen, he said.
Christofias paid special tribute to Turkish Cypriot Neretin Seferoglu, one of the eight supporters of his bid for the presidency. He is an old friend, who fought with us for Greek and Turkish Cypriots, the House President added.
Kasoulides, proposed by Glafcos Clerides, said all those who support him share a desire to move forward, free Cyprus from the deadlock situation, improve its image and create the prospect of a better life for all the citizens.
As I submit my candidacy, I see around me people of different generations and of various political affiliations who support me. I am particularly moved to see President Clerides here today, he said.
This is pivotal to either making headway or staying put, in the deadlocks of the past five years. We call on all citizens to rally with us and help us transform Cyprus into the country we all deserve, he added.
Costas Themistocleous, proposed by Yiangos Mikellides, said he is submitting his candidacy because he wants the country to turn a page, open a new chapter with new prospects not only for the presidency but also for plans for the future.
I am among those who, despite the difficulties, believe that we can reunify Cyprus and avert division or a two-state solution, he said.
Cyprus and its people deserve a better future. Today we have reached a stage when fundamental goods are at risk, including water supply, which will be interrupted soon, he said.
Marios Matsakis, proposed by Jacqueline Griva, called on other presidential hopefuls to outline their idea of a solution in Cyprus and stop talking in general terms about a bizonal bicommunal federation.
These elections, he added, are essentially, a referendum on the type of a solution we are seeking in Cyprus and I have submitted in writing what I propose and hope the media give my proposal the attention it deserves.
Anastasios Michael, proposed by Costas Charalambous, promised to find the right solution in the Cyprus issue as well as other areas such as education, health, the courts,, saying that we want to have a government which will work for us and not for other peoples interests.
In his remarks to the press, Andreas Efstratiou, a businessman by profession, from Paphos, called for equal treatment of all presidential candidates, saying his candidacy was independent and beyond party ranks. This is the second time he is running for the presidency. He was proposed by Chrysostomos Georgiou.
Christodoulos Neofytou, proposed by Fotis Fotiou, said he is running for the presidency for three reasons: the absence of a political settlement, the risks emanating from the European Union reform treaty and the social problems society is facing.
Costa Kyriakou (Outopos), proposed by Sylianos Christou, talked about vote rigging which he said did not allow him to be elected in previous efforts for the presidency.
 SLOVENIAN FM INFORMAL MEETING - SatisfactionForeign Minister of Slovenia and President of the European General Affairs and External Relations Council Dimitrij Rupel said he was satisfied with the outcome of the 5th Informal EU Foreign Ministers of the Mediterranean, noting that participating ministers discussed serious foreign policy issues.
In a press conference, he gave together with Cypriot Foreign Minister Erato Kozakou Marcoullis, Rupel said, I am very happy that we discussed practically the most important foreign policy challenges, Middle East, Lebanon, Mediterranean Kosovo migration.
The Cypriot Foreign Minister read out the concluding remarks of the meeting in which it is stated that the Foreign Ministers of the Olive Group met in Cyprus and had an open and fruitful exchange of ideas on various issues that are of high importance for the Mediterranean region and the EU in general.
 SPANISH FM GAMBARI PROCESSSpain favors a quick resumption of the so-called Gambari Process after the presidential elections in Cyprus that could lead to a final and comprehensive UN settlement, Foreign Minister of Spain Miguel Agel Moratinos has said.
In an interview with CNA, Moratinos said that Spain has always defended the United Nations resolutions on the issue and supports the efforts of the parties and the international community to bring a definitive and comprehensive solution to the issue.
In particular, Spain favours a quick resumption of the so-called Gambari Process after the Presidential elections in Cyprus that could lead to a final and comprehensive UN settlement, he added.
Asked whether EU should play a more active role in the efforts to solve the Cyprus problem, Moratinos said that Spain considers that, the forum to solve the problem is the UN.
 BARROSO CYPRUSEuropean Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso arrived in Cyprus to attend the euro adoption celebrations of Cyprus, which take place today in the capital Nicosia.
During his visit, he will also hold a meeting with the President of the Republic Tassos Papadopoulos and visit the European Commission Representation in Cyprus.
He will also meet with the Mayor of Nicosia Eleni Mavrou, who will present President Barroso with the Honorary Medal of the City of Nicosia and the Honorary Diploma.
Barroso will be the keynote speaker at the celebratory concert at the Nicosia Municipal Theatre.
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