The man who's been acting President of Cyprus since the death of Archbishop Makarios a month ago (3 August) has been formally declared as his successor.
The man who's been acting President of Cyprus since the death of Archbishop Makarios a month ago (3 August) has been formally declared as his successor. But the new President, Spyros Kyprianou, faces a presidential election in February, when the late archbishop's term of office ends.
The lawyer by profession, Mr. Kyprianou was Foreign Minister of Cyprus from August 1960 until he resigned under pressure from the then military regime in Greece, in May 1972. In May 1976 he formed a centre-right "Democratic Party" to contest parliamentary elections held in September that year. The party won the largest number of seats in the 36-member that year. The party won the largest number of seats in the 36-member House of representatives and Mr. Kyprianou became Deputy President of the Republic. When Archbishop Makarios died, he automatically became acting president. But although unopposed for the short period to February, it's expected he will be challenged by other parties if he stands for re-election.
SYNOPSIS: Although he's been acting president since the death of Archbishop Makarios, 44 year-old spyros Kyprianou still had to go through the official election procedure. He was the only candidate for the presidency, as all the four active Greek Cypriot political parties supported him. So, although Mr. Kyprianou faces a possible contest in the scheduled presidential elections in February next year, his appointment until then at least, is secure. But, in the midst of the pomp and congratulations, Mr. Kyprianou already had the problems of a divided Cyprus in mind.
Mr. Kyprianou told newsmen that under his presidency, Cyprus would, as he put it, "march along the path charted by out great leader, Makarios". But while he spoke, the United Nations Security Council was meeting, at the request of Cyprus, to discuss the continuing problems on the island.
Meanwhile, the Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktash has told ambassadors to Cyprus they'll be barred from the Turkish part of the island of they recognise Mr. Kyprianou as President of all Cyprus, and not just of the Greek sector.