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No clear favorite in the Greek Cypriot presidential race

25 September 2007
None of the three main contenders in the race for the greek Cypriot presidency has gained a significant advantage, according to a poll by the Cyprus Center for European and International Affairs of the University of Nicosia. The poll was conducted among 1,000 adults but no margin of error was provided.

32.74 percent of respondents would vote for incumbent Tassos Papadopoulos in next February’s election, according to the Angus Reid Global Monitor

Ioannis Kasoulides is a close second with 28.62 percent, followed by Dimitris Christofias with 28.39

Papadopoulos won the 2003 election with 51.5 per cent of the vote. He has been endorsed by the Democratic Party (DIKO), the Movement of Social Democrats (EDEK) and the European Party (EvroKo). Kasoulides, a former foreign minister, is backed by the opposition Democratic Rally (DISY). Christofias is the president of the House of Representatives and secretary general of the left-wing Progressive Party of the Working People (AKEL).

In 2006, Greek Cypriot voters renewed the House of Representatives. Final results gave AKEL and DIKO 29 seats in the legislative branch, enough to guarantee that Christofias would preside the chamber.

Relations between the Greeks and the Turks on Cyprus have been frayed since 1974, when a Greek-sponsored attempt to seize the government was met by military intervention from Turkey. In the skirmish, the Turks gained control of almost two-fifths of the island, which in 1983 declared itself the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. The Turkish government has never acknowledged the Greek Cypriot administration. More than 30,000 Turkish soldiers are stationed in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

On Sept. 3, government spokesman Vasilis Palmas expressed disagreement with a proposal developed by European parliamentarian Marios Matsakis, which seeks to divide Cyprus into two separate states. Palmas declared: "When (Matsakis) takes such positions and has such opinions, is it possible for the government to agree with him? (...) The views and opinions of our side are expressed by the government and they are well known to everyone. Such approaches are personal opinions and do not create problems in the government’s political line."

The president is both the head of state and the head of government in Greek Cyprus. The presidential election is scheduled for Feb. 8, 2008.

Which candidate would you support in the presidential election?

Tassos Papadopoulos

Ioannis Kasoulides

Dimitris Christofias

|||No clear favorite in the Greek Cypriot presidential race
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