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Cyprus Constitution And Political Structure

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Information on the formation of the Cyprus Constitution

Omodos Village                                          Photo © CyprusExpat.co.uk

1960 Constitution

Cyprus is an independent sovereign Republic with a presidential system of government. The President is both the Head of State and Government.

According to the Constitution of 1960 the government of Cyprus was constituted in the following manner:

Executive power: Article 1 provides that the Republic will have a President who shall be a Greek Cypriot and a Vice-President who shall be a Turkish Cypriot, elected by the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities respectively. The Constitution stipulates further that the President will appoint seven Greek Cypriot Ministers and the Vice-President three Turkish Cypriot Ministers.

Legislative power according to the Constitution is exercised by the House of Representatives comprising 80 Representatives, 70% (56) elected by the Greek Cypriot community and 30% (24) by the Turkish Cypriot community.

The administration of justice is carried out by the following judicial institutions: The Supreme Court, the Assize Court, the District Courts, the Military Court, the Rent Control Courts, the Industrial Disputes Court and Family Courts.

Following the Turkish Cypriot rebellion against the state in December 1963, the Turkish Cypriot leadership withdrew all members of the community from all the organs of the state.

In the executive branch, ministerial portfolios increased to 11 with the addition in 1965 of the Ministry of Education, which was later renamed Ministry of Education and Culture. In view of the withdrawal of the Turkish Cypriots from the Government, all Ministers are Greek Cypriots and are appointed by the President of the Republic. The post of Vice-President remains vacant.

In the legislative branch the Turkish Cypriot representatives also withdrew from the House in 1963 and their posts remain vacant to this day. Under a special law the number of seats in the House of Representatives has increased to 80 (56 for Greek Cypriots, 24 for Turkish Cypriots). Changes have also taken place in the judiciary where, since 1965, all judges have belonged to the Greek Cypriot community.PIO

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