Cyprus leader says no to second term

Monday, May 14, 2012

Greek Cyprus President Demetris Christofias started his first term in 2008.

Cypriot President Demetris Christofias announced today he will not run for a second term to represent the Republic of Cyprus, which is the Greek portion of the island.

The president cited the lack of progress in talks with the Turks over the Turkish-Greek Cypriot conflict as his main reason for stepping aside. In a televised national address, Christofias said, "A realistic analysis of the facts leads to the conclusion that there are no real hopes for either resolving the Cyprus issue or achieving substantial progress in the remaining months of my presidency."

The United Nations had recently pulled out of hosting talks between the two parties because of the lack of progress.

Christofias said, "Taking as a fact that the Cyprus problem has not been solved and there does not appear to be definitive progress in the next few months ... I will not seek re-election as president of the Republic of Cyprus."

Christofias is making good on a campaign promise that if he was not able to make progress on resolving the conflict that he would step aside. The issue on UN reunification talks with the Turks divided Christofias and former president Tassos Papadopoulos in the 2008 election.

Every president of the Republic since independence in 1960 has sought a second term of office.

The island of Cyprus has been divided into two sectors since a coup by Greek unionists in 1974 was followed in response by a Turkish military invasion.