First-round winner in Cyprus elections wants 'more dialogue with Turkish Cypriots'

The first round of elections in the Greek Cypriot Republic has eliminated the current president, Tassos Papadopoulos, from the race for the Presidency. Of the three leading candidates, Papadopoulos has the most reluctant attitude towards an eventual agreement with the Turkish community.

The first round of the presidential elections were held last Sunday. The two candidates that will go forward to the second round, a Conservative and a Communist, are both favourable towards establishing a consensus with the Turks living in the north of the island.

Ioannis Kasoulides, who gained the largest share of votes on Sunday, declared yesterday that "the time has come to overcome everything that has divided the Cypriot people in recent years over the ‘Cyprus question'," according to Gara. His opponent, Demetris Christofias, claimed that he would never "reach a solution for the sake of reaching a solution" and said he intended "to work alongside the Turkish Cypriots" to find an "acceptable deal".

The results for the three main parties were as follows: Kasoulides (DISY, Democratic Rally) received 33.51% of votes, Christofias (Progressive Party of Working People) 33.29%, and Papadopoulos (DK, Democratic Party) 31.79%.


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