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(01/24/08) -

Still No Frontrunner in Greek Cyprus Ballot

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – The race for the presidency of Greek Cyprus remains extremely tight, according to a poll by Evresis released by Ant1. 32.8 per cent of respondents would re-elect incumbent Tassos Papadopoulos in the upcoming ballot, 30.1 per cent would vote for Dimitris Christofias, and 29.6 per cent would back Ioannis Kasoulides.

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – The race for the presidency of Greek Cyprus remains extremely tight, according to a poll by Evresis released by Ant1. 32.8 per cent of respondents would re-elect incumbent Tassos Papadopoulos in the upcoming ballot, 30.1 per cent would vote for Dimitris Christofias, and 29.6 per cent would back Ioannis Kasoulides.

The presidential election in Greek Cyprus is scheduled for Feb. 17. If no candidate garners more than 50 per cent of all cast ballots, a run-off would take place a week later.

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). Christofias is the president of the House of Representatives and secretary general of the left-wing Progressive Party of the Working People (AKEL). Kasoulides, a former foreign minister, is backed by the opposition Democratic Rally (DISY).

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 Greek majority and the Turkish minority in 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 occupy the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

On Jan. 18, Turkish foreign minister Ali Babacan claimed that, following the election in Greek Cyprus, "a new window of opportunity will be opened" for a solution to the Cyprus problem. Babacan added: "A comprehensive solution will depend on the will and consent of the two peoples. Turkey and northern Cyprus are determined to pursue solution-oriented policies. The Turkish side is ready for a new partnership based on political equality, bi-zonality and the equal status of the two founding states under the United Nations."

Polling Data

If the elections were next Sunday, who would you vote for?

 

Jan. 2008

Sept. 2007

Tassos Papadopoulos

32.8%

31.9%

Dimitris Christofias

30.1%

28.8%

Ioannis Kasoulides

29.6%

28.0%

Source: Evresis / Ant1
Methodology: Interviews with 1,518 Greek Cyprus adults, conducted in December 2007 and January 2008. No margin of error was provided.