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Attorney-General to resign after presidential elections
2003-01-08 18:00:28

Nicosia, Jan 8 (CNA) -- Attorney General and presidential candidate, Alecos Markides, announced here Wednesday his decision not to return to his duties after the February elections.

At a press conference where he explained the reasons for submitting his candidacy, Markides said once his unpaid leave ends at the end of February, he would submit his resignation to the new President of the Republic.

If the president asks him to remain in office for a short period "for extraordinary serious reasons of public interest, involving the Cyprus problem", as he said, "I might reply positively, but not for a period greater than two months".|

In his introductory remarks, Markides said his candidacy was prompted not only by the need for a renewal of the society and the political life, but mainly because of the need for a "continuation in efforts to solve and handle the Cyprus problem".

At this point, he explained that this was the reason he disagreed with the candidacy of incumbent President Glafcos Clerides, who announced on Friday he would seek a 16-month term in office with the exclusive aim to handle the national problem.

"The 16-month term has no meaning, it is an arbitrary setting of time which has nothing to do with the Cyprus problem and its developments. The transitional period, as envisaged by the (Annan) plan is three years," Markides noted, adding he entered the presidential race to give the people "the continuity alternative, of strategy and tactics on the Cyprus problem that might lead to an acceptable solution, if the other (Turkish) side fundamentally changes its course".

Asked if he was concerned by the impression, which his almost simultaneous announcement of the presidential bid was done with that of Clerides, Markides said he thought about the issue.

After the decision that he would remain a presidential adviser, the fears, which the foreign diplomats and the team of Alvaro de Soto, UN Secretary- General's Special Adviser on Cyprus, had, were satisfied and that efforts to solve the Cyprus problem would not suffer a setback.

Markides said Assistant Attorney-General Petros Clerides would take over all his duties as Deputy Attorney-General, according to the Constitution. He will only deal with the Cyprus problem, as part of Clerides' decision to remain part of the negotiating team and coordinator of the two ad hoc committees which have been set up as part of the UN-led negotiations for a Cyprus settlement.


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