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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 03-01-07
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>
Tuesday, 7 January 2003
 President Clerides announces presidential candidature for 16-month termThe President of the Republic of Cyprus, Mr. Glafcos Clerides, announced last Friday his intention to seek a 16-month term in office, with the sole aim to handle Cyprus' national problem, together with the National Council, and the completion of the island's accession to the European Union.
Mr. Clerides stated, inter alia, the following:
"Developments are fast and historic. These will judge the future of Cyprus. In the next few months we will be asked to take some great decisions. We have a duty to seek, with determination and prudence, a functional solution to the Cyprus problem.
My historic duty obliges me to handle this great challenge. I do not have the luxury to put forward personal choices. It is the time for national duty, which excludes no one.
The time until my term in office expires is limited, and to negotiate a just and viable solution, I need sufficient time and a new, clear mandate. A mandate that will come through democratic procedures. That is why I feel that my historic duty compels me to seek this mandate at the forthcoming presidential elections. A mandate of limited duration."
The President pledged to achieve national unity and called upon all political forces for the creation of a broadly accepted government.
"I ask the trust of all political forces - left, centre, socialist and right - to be able to continue negotiating, armed with your strength, towards finding a solution, which will be to the benefit of the entire people of Cyprus.
I am asking you to give me a strong mandate so that all united, we can handle the greatest historical challenge of Cyprus. A challenge that will determine the future of all of us, Greek Cypriots, Turkish Cypriots, Maronites, Armenians and Latins", Mr. Clerides concluded.
In addition, the Attorney General, Mr. Alecos Markides, announced that he will also run for president in the February elections.
Speaking at a press conference last Saturday, Mr. Markides said that his candidature is "independent and above party politics", and called on everyone to join him in the effort to build the vision of a European Cyprus for the 21st century.
 Council of Europe Secretary General in Cyprus on official visitThe Secretary General of the Council of Europe (CoE), Mr. Walter Schwimmer, is in Cyprus on an official three-day visit for contacts on the Cyprus problem and efforts to reach a political settlement.
Upon his arrival at Larnaca airport, on Sunday 5 January, Mr. Schwimmer said he was pleased to be visiting the island at a "critical period before the presidential elections", as he claimed.
He said that there was a window of opportunity for a solution of the Cyprus problem and hoped that his visit would contribute towards the efforts for resolving the political problem on the island, which would be beneficial to all Cypriots.
The Council of Europe official noted that the Turkish side had made some positive steps towards reaching a solution in Cyprus and that Turkey had appeared more willing to find a solution now than in the past.
Asked by reporters to say what message he would convey during his contacts on the island, Mr. Schwimmer replied that the window of opportunity for a reunification of the island before Cyprus' accession into the European Union should not be missed, so that all Cypriots could enjoy the privileges flowing from EU membership.
He added that a solution of the Cyprus problem, putting an end to the longstanding division on the island, would be to the benefit of the Council of Europe. "In this way", the CoE Secretary General pointed out, "there will be the necessary guarantees safeguarding human rights", adding that the European Charter of Human Rights "could and must be used by all Cypriots in light of Cyprus' EU accession".
"Cyprus has always been considered a European country and it is a full member of the Council of Europe. This has prepared Cyprus to become a full member of the European Union, the most concrete organisation advocating the reunification of Europe", he concluded.
Mr. Schwimmer met this morning with the President of the Republic of Cyprus, Mr. Glafcos Clerides, the President of the House of Representatives, Mr. Demetris Christofias and the Foreign Minister, Mr. Ioannis Kasoulides. He will also meet with the members of the Cypriot Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and other MPs.
Tomorrow morning he will take part in a round table discussion with Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot politicians, to be held at the Ledra Palace.
 Interior Minister's statements on forthcoming presidential electionsThe Interior Minister, Dr. Andreas Panayiotou, in a statement last Friday on the 2003 presidential elections, mentioned inter alia that the February elections had been proclaimed, following a decree that was published on the same day in the official newspaper of the Republic.
The Minister added that Mr. Kyriakos Triantafyllides, the Permanent Secretary of the Interior Ministry, was appointed Chief Returning Officer, while Mr. George Theodorou, the head of the Central Electoral Service, was appointed Assistant Returning Officer.
The additional registry of voters was made public, the Minister noted, adding that the registry "will remain posted until the 13 January for possible objections and immediately after, the objections will be examined by the local district officers to decide whether to accept or reject them, so that the registry can take its final form".
He pointed out that the total number of voters is 475.000, including some 8.000 new voters.
Dr. Panayiotou also expressed the Government's readiness to set up voting centres abroad, provided that the House of Representatives approves the relevant law.
From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/