• Short Summary

    The Mediterranean island of Cyprus goes to the polls on February 13 to elect a new president.

  • Description

    NICOSIA, FEBRUARY 1983: GVs & SVs Town centre. Election posters on walls (4 shots)

    MINISTRY OF INTERIOR, NICOSIA, FEBRUARY 1983: GVs & SVs Glafcos Clerides, leader of the Democratic Rally arrives. Vassos Lyssarides (Socialist) arrives. Spyros Kyprianou, Democratic Party arrives. Signs nomination paper (5 shots)

    NICOSIA, 1960: GVs Governor of Cyprus Sir Hugh Foot and Greek Cypriot leader Archbishop Makarios sign independence agreement at Government House (4 shots)

    CU & SV Dead monks in monastery near Nicosia. Bodies covered up (3 shots)

    FAMAGUSTA: SV Makarios looking at bombed Presidential Palace and standing in ruins (2 shots)

    SVs & GVs United Nations peace-keeping force guarding roads and soldier in sentry box (3 shots)

    NICOSIA, JULY 1974: GV PAN Soldiers on rooftop TO Turkish aircraft over city suburbs. GV Soldiers setting up machine gun. LV Paratroops dropping from Turkish transport planes. LV Fighter aircraft overhead. CUs Machine gun being fired. SV Troops through hole in wire fence. LV ZOOM INTO GV Turkish troops advancing in field towards Nicosia (5 shots)

    SEPTEMBER 1974: CU Turkish troops PAN TO Turkish commander reviewing troops. GV Square with crowd. SV Commander unveiling bust of Ataturk PAN UP TO bust (2 shots)

    TV FAMAGUSTA LV PAN FROM Turkish flag TO Greek flag on rooftops (2 shots)

    SV PAN Greek Cypriot refugees in emergency camp. CU priest. SCU man in doorway. GV Temporary homes (4 shots)

    PARALIMINI VILLAGE, FEBRUARY 1983: GVs & SVs President Kyprianou arrives through cheering crowds. GV addresses rally (4 shots)

    PAPHOS, FEBRUARY 1983: Dr. Vassos Lyssarides arrives through cheering crowds

    NICOSIA: GV Turkish flag at Turkish area. GV Border post with cars crossing from one sector to the other (4 shots)

    Initials PW/BB

    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: The Mediterranean island of Cyprus goes to the polls on February 13 to elect a new president. It will be the first presidential election to be seriously contested on the island since independence 23 years ago. Centre-right President Spyros Kyprianou looks set to retain power with the support of the Communist Akel party. He is being challenged by pro-westerner Glafcos Clerides and socialist EDEK party leader Vassos Lyssarides.

    SYNOPSIS: Election fever in Nicosia. Posters of the candidates adorn walls and windows.

    On February 3, the three candidates arrived to hand in their nomination papers for registration. A recent poll forecast that Mr. Kyprianou would take 54 per cent of the votes against 33 per cent for Mr. Clerides and 13 per cent for Dr. Lyssarides. If these figures were accurate there would be no need for another election which was required if no one had an absolute majority.

    It was in 1960 that the Island was proclaimed independent after 82 years of British rule at a ceremony attended by the outgoing Governor Sir Hugh Foot, the Greek Cypriot leader Archbishop Makarios and the Turkish community's leader Dr. Kutchuk.

    But hopes that a new spirit of tolerance would prevail between the Turkish and Greek communities ended when problems in the government led to violence between the two.

    British troops were called in to keep the peace but the violence continued. President Makarios surveyed the ruins of the bombed presidential palace. His ambition to make the island truly independent was still unfulfilled when he died in 1977.

    After independence more than three thousand United Nations troops were still needed to ensure peace on the island and all talks to unite the two communities have so far failed.

    July 20th 1974 and Turkey invades the island. Two days later an estimated 40,000 Turkish troops had landed and in the end gained control of northern Cyprus and 40 per cent of the island's area.

    By September Cyprus was firmly divided....and the Turks were establishing themselves. Here in Kyrenia their military commander watched by Rauf Denktash, the Turkish-Cypriot leader, unveiled a bust of Kemal Ataturk the founder of modern Turkey. Soon after came the declaration of a Turkish Federated State of Cyprus.

    Now the island remains divided separating the 170,000 Turks from about half a million Greeks. Right across the Island runs a barrier of barbed wire, mine-fields and observation posts separated only by the United Nations force.

    About a quarter of a million people were made homeless by the invasion and were forced to live in camps with little chance of returning. Twice a week in Nicosia, representatives of the two communities meet to try and find a way forward but so far little progress had been made. President Kyprianou says he wants to resurrect the problem at the UN but observers see little prospect of any settlement.

    Meanwhile, President Kyprianou joins the other candidates on the campaign trail. He has given an assurance that Cyprus will not become a communist country if he wins. He says his alliance with Akel is a bulwark against fascist designs on the island. He has also attacked opponents who have accused him of wanting to turn Cyprus into what they call "The Cuba of the Mediterranean".

    In Paphos, leader of the socialist Edek party Dr. Vassos Lyssarides addresses a rally. The 62-year-old former physician to President Makarios appears to be gaining ground -- though not fast enough to win the election.

    One of the three British bases in the south of the island. Both communities blame Britain's past policies for their present divisions. Communist Akel party leader Ezekias Papaioannou who is not standing in the election has said the priority was to rid Cyprus of foreign troops -- the Turks in the north and the British in the south.

    This is the only crossing point between the two territories and both sides make it awkward for the traveller to visit the other. For local residents it is virtually impossible. Whoever wins on February 13 no radical formula seems likely to emerge for the problem of a divided Cyprus.

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