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Cyprus Presidential Elections 2003
2003-02-16 18:42:17

Papadopoulos declared President Nicosia, Feb 16 (CNA) -- Tassos Papadopoulos was declared Sunday night the fifth President of the Republic of Cyprus.

Papadopoulos, was elected President from the first round of the elections, securing 51.51 percent of the vote over outgoing President Glafcos Clerides, who secured 38.80 percent.

He was declared President by Chief Returning Officer Kyriacos Triantafyllides, during a ceremony at a packed Eleftheria Indoor stadium in the capital Nicosia.|

Cyprus - Presidential elections - Final Results 100%
Nicosia, Feb 16 (CNA) -- Democratic Party leader, Tassos Papadopoulos, was elected President of the Republic here Sunday, from the first round of the elections, securing 51.51 percent of the vote over outgoing President Glafcos Clerides, who secured 38.80 percent.

Papadopoulos's victory was realised with 213,353 votes while Clerides garnered 160,724 votes.

Alecos Markides came third with 27,404 votes or 6.62 percent while New Horizons leader, Nicos Koutsou, received 8,771 votes or 2.12 percent.

The results are as follows:
Registered voters: 476.758
Votes cast: 431,690 - 90.55%
Abstention: 45,068 - 89.20%
Valid: 414,193 - 95.95%
Void: 11,850 - 2.75%
Blank: 5,647 - 1.31%

GLAFCOS CLERIDES 160,724-- 38.80%
ALECOS MARKIDES 27,404-- 6.62%
NICOS KOUTSOU 8,771-- 2.12%
COSTAS KYRIACOU 1,840-- 0.44%

Papadopoulos elected President from first round
Nicosia, Feb 16 (CNA) -- One of the most experienced politicians on the island, Tassos Papadopoulos, takes over the long-standing Cyprus problem and will take the island towards full accession to the European Union.

He won today's Presidential elections with the support of the centre-right Democratic Party he heads, the leftwing AKEL, the Social Democrats (KISOS) and the Ecologists ? Environmentalists Movement.

Tassos Papadopoulos was born in Nicosia in 1934. He studied law in London and he actively participated in the EOKA liberation struggle 1955-1959 against the British colonial rule.

He was one of the four representatives of the Greek Cypriot side in the Constitutional Committee which drafted the Republic's constitution.

He served for 12 years as Minister of Interior, Minister of Finance, Minister of Labour and Social Insurance, Minister of Health and Minister of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

He was an adviser to the first interlocutor in the bicommunal talks and became interlocutor in 1976.

He served as Member of the House of Representatives from 1970 and re- elected in 1976 and President of the House from April until October 1976. In 1991 he was elected deputy for the Democratic Party, and was re-elected in 1996.

Last year he took over the post of the President of the Democratic Party. He was a member of the National Council and Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee for European Affairs. |


Papadopoulos expresses commitment to viable solution
Nicosia, Feb 17 (CNA) -- Tassos Papadopoulos, the winner of yesterday's presidential elections, said he would display flexibility and good will at the negotiating table with a view at rendering a UN peace proposal on a comprehensive settlement a workable and viable solution.

Speaking late tonight to jubilant supporters after he was declared officially President of the Republic, he said he does not want to deprive the Turkish Cypriots of their rights but wants to ensure that the island's two communities have a workable plan that would last.

Papadopoulos, who got 51.51 per cent of the vote ousting President Glafcos Clerides, thanked the Greek government and the opposition in Greece for their wishes and support and expressed appreciation to Clerides and his other opponents in Sunday's poll.

''It is our commitment and our duty to continue the negotiations with flexibility and good will to bring about the necessary improvements to the UN peace plan under discussion so that it becomes a workable and viable solution,'' he said.

Papadopoulos stressed that he wants negotiations not to deprive the Turkish Cypriots of their rights but to ensure that both communities have before them a workable plan that would last.

He appealed to the Turkish Cypriots to judge him by what he is and not by what they are told he is.

Addressing the thousands of people who turned up for the official ceremony at the ''Eleftheria'' indoor stadium, in the capital Nicosia, to declare him the new president, he said ''I look forward to your cooperation, especially the cooperation with parties that have a long history of exchanges with the Turkish Cypriots to work together in order to see a reunited Cyprus join the European Union and see Greek and Turkish Cypriots enjoy the benefits EU membership would bring.''

He assured that his efforts at the negotiating table aim at proving his good will and show that he wants a society that respects equality.

Papadopoulos said that there will be no discrimination in the new society he wants to set up and there will be no second class citizens because of political affiliations, stressing that he would not tolerate such behaviour.

He pledged to ensure equality between men and women and said meritocracy will prevail.

Addressing the refugees, he said he would work to secure their right to return to their homes, now under Turkish occupation, under conditions of security.

Cyprus' new president also referred to the missing persons, and assured their families that at the negotiations he will insist that this humanitarian issue will have to be resolved.

He said Greek Cypriots who continue to live in the Turkish occupied areas of Cyprus, especially the Karpass peninsula, are worthy of respect and appreciation for enduring hardship for so long at their ancestral homes.

Referring to his opponents in yesterday's presidential race, he said ''I would like to express my appreciation to President Clerides and to the rest of my opponents in this contest and tell them that elections with opponents show that democracy works.''

He said he would implement his electoral manifesto in a sincere and collective manner with respect to everybody to bring about real change and a new era.

''The people's will for a change in government is a reality today, and this change came in the first round of the elections, as you wanted it,'' he told his jubilant supporters whom he thanked warmly for all the hard work they had put into his election to the presidency.

Papadopoulos thanked the government of Greece and the opposition in Greece for their wishes on his election and the promise they gave him for support of the task ahead.

On a more personal note, he thanked his wife, now first lady Fotini and his children.|

CNA MM/GP/2003

UN top envoy calls Clerides, Papadopoulos
Nicosia, Feb 16 (CNA) -- Alvaro de Soto, UN Secretary General's special adviser on Cyprus, telephoned this evening President Glafcos Clerides and president-elect Tassos Papadopoulos, according to reliable sources.

The same sources have said that tomorrow's meeting in the context of the UN-led direct talks between the island's two communities has been cancelled at the request of President Clerides, who represents the Greek Cypriot side to the talks, conducted by de Soto.

The UN top envoy is due to meet tomorrow President Clerides and Papadopoulos who won today's elections with 51.51 per cent of the vote, the first time in twenty years that presidential elections were won outright in the first poll.

After the morning meetings, De Soto will travel to Ankara.

His trip to Ankara, one of many in the recent weeks, comes at a poignant time in the Cyprus peace effort and before next week's visit to the island by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan in a bid to secure a peace deal by the end of February, as requested in the plan he put forward to the two sides.|

CNA MM/GP/2003

Simitis congratulates Papadopoulos
Brussels, Feb 16 (CNA) -- Greek Prime Minister and European Council President, Costas Simitis, congratulated president-elect Tassos Papadopoulos Sunday from Brussels and pledged to meet him the soonest.

Speaking to journalists, Simitis publicly congratulated Papadopoulos noting he is "very suitable to lead the people of Cyprus at this stage". Simitis is in Brussels where on Monday he will chair a meeting, which will focus on developments in Iraq and the Middle East.

"Papadopoulos is a politician who has closely monitored all developments in the Cyprus problem. He has great experience and knowledge of the situation. Therefore he is very suitable to lead the people of Cyprus at this stage and I am certain our relationship will be very good, just like it was with the Cypriot leadership so far", the Greek premier said.

Asked whether Papadopoulos' election might bring a change to the Cyprus position regarding the national issue, Simitis replied that he has talked with Papadopoulos on several occasions about the Cyprus problem. "He is a pragmatist, who handles all situations calmly", he said.

Simitis added that every leader has his own distinctiveness, adding, "I do not believe there will be any modifications on the direction and substance of the Cyprus positions," he added.

Referring to outgoing President Glafcos Clerides, Simitis said he would like to acknowledge his work, adding he has managed to change the facts on the Cyprus problem and successfully led efforts for the island's accession to the European Union.

"With his negotiating abilities and persistence, he paved the way which I believe the new leadership will make full use of", he added.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 percent of the island's territory.

UN-led efforts to solve the Cyprus problem will culminate with the arrival on 26 February of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, in a last ditch effort to find a comprehensive settlement based on Annan's revised plan.

Democratic Party leader, Tassos Papadopoulos, was elected President of the Republic here Sunday, from the first round of the elections, securing 51.51 percent of the vote over outgoing President Glafcos Clerides, who secured 38.80 percent. |


Papadopoulos renews pledge for solution, seeks Clerides' help

Nicosia, Feb 16 (CNA) -- President elect Democratic Party leader Tassos Papadopoulos said here tonight that he would engage in substantive negotiations to prove to the international community that his commitment to finding a political settlement remains firm.

Papadopoulos, speaking on the telephone with President Glafcos Clerides who rang to congratulate him on his election victory, sought Clerides' expertise, abilities, connections and knowledge in the task ahead.

Addressing himself to Turkish Cypriots, the Democratic Party leader said he looks forward to a just and viable solution for the benefit of both communities with respect to each side's rights, history and traditions.

''The people of Cyprus have decided for a change and have given me a mandate for a society that is united. I would like to express my gratitude for the trust the people have shown in me,'' Papadopoulos said.

He said his contract with the people for a society of equality without discrimination and without prejudice, a society that would observe meritocracy will be observed.

''I would like to send a special message to our Turkish Cypriots compatriots and say that I look forward to a just and lasting settlement to the benefit of all in a spirit of equality with respect to the rights, the history and the traditions and the political self-sufficiency of each of the two communities in the context of the UN peace plan, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has put forward,'' Papadopoulos said.

He said he will expect to see Annan in Cyprus towards the end of the month, as announced by the UN, in the hope that the Secretary General will be able to break the current deadlock in the ongoing UN-led peace negotiations.

''We are absolutely ready for substantive negotiations which are needed to be faithful and prove to the international community as well that our commitment to a solution remains firm and unfaltering,'' he said.

President elect said he would make every effort to see, if possible, a reunited Cyprus join the European Union and increase the benefits that full accession would bring to Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots alike.

He said he would make more statements tomorrow.

Papadopoulos thanked everybody who has worked over the months for his election to the presidency.|


Clerides pledges to help new Cyprus President Nicosia, Feb 16 (CNA) -- Outgoing President of the Republic Glafcos Clerides congratulated Tassos Papadopoulos for his victory in today's presidential elections, saying he is ready to give the new President all the help he can on the Cyprus problem.

"The people have decided, the people's decision is respected", Clerides, who had been seeking a third limited mandate, said after he telephoned Papadopoulos to congratulate him.

"I have telephoned Mr. Papadopoulos and congratulated him", said the outgoing President, adding the new president asked him to stand by him. "I replied, 'with pleasure' any help he needs, and whatever I can, I will give it to him".

Asked if the two will meet together UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan when he pays a three-day visit to the island, beginning 26 February, Clerides replied, "I think it would be right Mr. Papadopoulos meets him because the mandate has been given to him. However, If Mr. Papadopoulos wants me to accompany him, I will not refuse", Clerides added.|


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