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Monday, 17 February, 2003, 12:02 GMT
Press revels in surprise election win
Tassos Papadopoulos acknowledges the crowd during a victory rally
Papadopoulos jubilant at his surprise win
Many Greek Cypriot newspapers have welcomed the unexpected victory of Tassos Papadopoulos in Sunday's presidential election.

Some also pay tribute to the outgoing president - the veteran Glafcos Clerides - saying that his legacy will continue to be felt.

The liberal Fileleftheros newspaper applauds the new president's stated aim to work together with Mr Clerides.

It says that social cohesion is key at a time when the country faces "crucial dilemmas demanding historical decisions" - a reference to a UN plan for re-uniting the divided island.

There are less than two weeks to go before the deadline set by the UN for reaching agreement on the peace deal, which aims to ensure that Cyprus enters the EU in 2004 without internal divisions.

'Era of equality'

"The country's problems are many, complex and urgent. Serious decisions are needed," says the independent rightist Simerini.

"We will wait to see how the new president acts."

Haravghi, mouthpiece of leftist Akel party, proclaims in its headline "The people's victory!"

"A new era begins. This is the time when all citizens will be equal without distinction. Today we are turning a new page," it says.

Papadopoulos himself, the paper goes on, has "extended a hand of co-operation and brotherhood for a united Cyprus".

All Cypriots can now "look forward to a future with the Cyprus issue solved, when Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots will jointly build their common fatherland".

'Dangerous void'

The rightist Alithia daily is less enthusiastic, pointing out that despite a clear margin of victory, about 50% of the electorate did not vote for Papadopoulos.

The paper reserves its greatest praise for Mr Clerides.

"We congratulate the man who is leaving the presidential palace for everything he has done and has offered to this country," it says.

Clerides has been "justified by history and wronged by those who threw stones at him". He has left behind a "dangerous void", the newspaper says.

The hardline, nationalist Tharros considers the "The greatness of Glafcos Clerides" and says the Clerides legacy will continue to have an impact.

"What is important right now is to maintain the people's unity. What is important now is the togetherness and the union of hearts of Greek Cypriots," the newspaper says.

"There is no room for division. There is only the road of togetherness that Glafcos Clerides himself has begun, a road that we all have a duty to follow."

BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.

The BBC's Tabitha Morgan reports from Cyprus
"Mr Papadopoulos' supporters were confident he would win in the first round of voting"
Cypriot journalist Kyriacos Tsioupras
"Mr Papadopoulos was identified with a hard line policy (towards unification)"

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28 Jan 03 | Europe
02 Jan 03 | Europe
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