CYPRUS: Government & Politics


National: Cyprus is an independent sovereign Republic with a presidential system of government. Under the 1960 Constitution, executive power is exercised by the President of the Republic, elected by universal suffrage for a five-year term of office. The President exercises executive power through a Council of Ministers appointed by him. Ministers may be chosen from outside the House of Representatives.

President of the Republic:  Glafkos Clerides
Speaker of the House:        Alexis Galanos
Minister of Foreign Affairs: Alecos Michaelides
Defense Minister:            Costas Eliades
Minister of the Interior:    Dinos Michaelides
Minister of Finance:         Christodoulos Christodoulou
Minister of Industry:        Kyriakos Christofi

Legislature The legislative authority in the Republic is exercised by the House of Representatives now consisting of 56 members, elected by universal suffrage for a five-year term. At the time of its establishment in 1960, the House consisted of 50 members, 35 of whom were to be Greek-Cypriots and 15 Turkish-Cypriots. According to the 1960 Constitution the ratio was 70% Greek-Cypriots and 30% Turkish-Cypriots. (For representation in the parliament see "Elections.")

Judiciary The administration of justice is exercised by the island's separate and independent Judiciary. Under the 1960 Constitution and other legislation in force, the following judicial institutions have been established: The Supreme Court of the Republic, The Assize Courts and District Courts.

Legal System Based on common law, with civil law modifications.

Status of the Press: Press freedom comparable to western European standards. Libel law however, stricter than several European countries.

Political Parties: In order of prominence in the last parliamentary elections (May 1991):

Democratic Rally or DISY: Dimocratikos Synagermos (the Conservatives). Leader, Ioannis Matsis

Progressive Party of the Working People or AKEL: Anorthotikon Komma Ergazomenou Laou (the Communist Party). Leader, Dimitris Christofias.

Democratic Party or DIKO: Dimocratiko Komma (the Center Right). Leader, Spyros Kyprianou.

National Democratic Union of the Center or EDEK: Eniaia Dimocratiki Enosi Kentrou (the Socialist Party). Leader, Vassos Lyssarides.

Socialist Democratic Renewal Party or ADISOK: Ananeotiko Dimocratiko Socialistiko Komma). Leader, Michalis Papapetrou.

In addition there are two smaller parties that do not have elected representatives in the parliament. These are:

Liberals' Party (KF: Komma Fileleftheron) led by Nikos Rolandis.

Free Democrats Movement (KED: Kinima Eleftheron Democraton) led by former president George Vassiliou.

Elections: Officially every five years (Universal suffrage at age 18).

Parliamentary elections: Last held in May 1991.

Results--DISY 35.8%, AKEL 30.6%, DIKO 19.5%, EDEK 10.9%, ADISOK 2.4%, others 0.8%

Seats--(56 total) DISY 20, AKEL 18, DIKO 11, EDEK 7.

The next Parliamentary elections will take place in May 1996

Presidential elections: last held in February 1993 with the following results:

Cabinet: Cyprus is ruled by a coalition government of DISY and DIKO the latter being the junior partner. DIKO received 5 out of 12 cabinet posts.

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