Demetris Christofias

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Demetris Christofias was inaugurated President of the Republic of Cyprus on 28 February 2008 following his victory at the Presidential Elections of 24 February 2008.

At the time of his election Mr Christofias was serving his second five-year term as President of the House of Representatives, a post he held since 2001. He was first elected to the House of Representatives as an AKEL-Left-New Forces party candidate for the Kyrenia district in 1991 and was re-elected in 1996, in 2001 and 2006.

He was General Secretary of the AKEL Central Committee from 22 April 1988 to 21 January 2009. Following the death of Ezekias Papaioannou, AKEL’s General Secretary, on 10 April 1988, he was appointed Acting General Secretary by the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the party and subsequently elected General Secretary. In 1987 he was elected on the Secretariat of the Central Committee of AKEL, in 1986 as a member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee and in 1982 as a member of the Central Committee of the party. In 1976 he was elected member of the Nicosia-Kyrenia District Committee of AKEL.

Mr Christofias became politically active at an early age when at the age of fourteen he joined the Pancyprian United Students Organisation. In 1964 he became a member of AKEL, of the Pancyprian Federation of Labour (PEO) and of the United Democratic Youth Organisation (EDON). In 1969, at the 5th Congress of EDON, he was elected member of its Central Council. In 1974, following the completion of his studies in Moscow, he returned to Cyprus and was employed by EDON, where he was elected to the post of Central Organisational Secretary and, in 1977, to the post of General Secretary. He served at this post until 1987.

President Christofias is the recipient of many honours and distinctions including the prestigious Alexander Pushkin medal by the Russian Federation in 2007, for his contribution to the development of friendship between Russia and Cyprus and for his support of the Russian language and culture; the Great Cross of the Church of the Apostle Mark, with a star, by His Beatitude Theodoros II, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa in 2009; the Knight of the Collar of the Pian Order by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI in 2010; and the Order of Friendship of the Russian Federation by President Dmitry Medvedev in 2010. Moreover, he has received Honourary Degrees from a number of universities including: the University of Macedonia, in Greece (2004), the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, in Russia (2008), the University for Foreigners of Perugia, in Italy (2009), the University of Patras, in Greece (2010), the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, in Greece (2010), the European University Cyprus (2011), and the University of Mariupol, in Ukraine (2011). He was also honoured by a number of cities in several countries including Greece, Italy and Ukraine.

The President holds a Doctor of Philosophy degree in History from the Institute of Social Sciences in Moscow (Academy of Social Sciences of the Soviet Union). He speaks English and Russian.

He was born on 29 August 1946, in Dhikomo in the Kyrenia District, in the area of Cyprus under military occupation by Turkey since 1974.

Mr Christofias is married to Elsi Chiratou and they have two daughters and a son.


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