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Greek Cypriots Vote; Opposition Hoping to Pressure Kyprianou

December 09, 1985|Associated Press

NICOSIA, Cyprus — Greek Cypriots voted Sunday in parliamentary elections that opposition leaders hope will force President Spyros Kyprianou to either resign or to include Parliament in peace talks with the island's Turks.

Election officials reported that 95% of the 346,000 eligible voters cast ballots before the polls closed at 6 p.m.

Voting is mandatory in this tiny, divided Mediterranean island state.

In October, leaders of the main opposition parties--the right-wing Rally Party and the Communist Akel Party--forced an early election. They had complained that Kyprianou erred in failing to sign a United Nations-sponsored agreement that would have led to reuniting the island nation.

Kyprianou was elected president in 1983 with Akel's support, but Akel dropped its alliance with the president's minority Diko Party late last year.

Kyprianou has said he will refuse to resign until his term expires in 1988, the date of the next presidential elections.

The only preelection poll taken was conducted by the Middle East Research and Marketing Bureau. It showed the Rally Party receiving 30% of the vote, Akel 29%, Diko 24%, the Socialists 11% and the two independent candidates 5%.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish soldiers invaded the island following an unsuccessful coup intended to unite Cyprus with Greece. Turks occupy the island's northern third, which unilaterally declared itself a separate republic in November, 1983.

Last January, Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash agreed to a draft statement prepared by U.N. Secretary General Javier Perez de Cuellar calling for reuniting the island.

But Kyprianou refused to sign, saying there were "gaps" in the statement on the geographic layout of an eventual federated state, the withdrawal of Turkish troops and the right of Greek Cypriots to return to their homes in the north.

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