Constitution of Cyprus

In 1974 Turkish troops invaded and occupied the northern 36% of the Republic of Cyprus. This area was later declared independent. The secession has not been recognised internationally, except by Turkey. The UN and Commonwealth have for many years protested about the occupation and tried to resolve the problem by negotiation. Due to this division of the Republic of Cyprus, aggregated information is not always available. Economic and social data given here generally cover the government-controlled areas only, although legally and constitutionally the Republic of Cyprus includes the occupied north.

Status: Republic with executive president

Legislature: House of Representatives

The Republic of Cyprus is a democracy with a directly elected executive president, serving a five-year term. The 1960 constitution has provisions to ensure a balance of power between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities. The legislature, the House of Representatives, was to be elected by universal suffrage with 35 Greek and 15 Turkish seats and a term of no longer than five years. Under the amendment of 1985, the legislature was to comprise 80 seats (56 Greek, 24 Turkish). In 1996 a system of proportional representation was introduced. The seats reserved for Turkish Cypriots have been unoccupied since 1963. The executive was to comprise a Greek president, a Turkish vice-president and a council of ministers, with seven Greek and three Turkish members. Ministers may not be members of parliament. The president is to be elected by absolute majority. If this is not achieved, a second election between the two top candidates is to be held. All Cypriots must declare themselves either to be Cypriot Greeks or Cypriot Turks (the Armenian, Maronite and Latin communities declared themselves Greek for this purpose).

The ratio of Greek to Turk in the army must be 6:4, and 7:3 in the police, judiciary and civil service. Nicosia, Paphos, Larnaca, Limassol and Famagusta each have separate Greek and Turkish municipal authorities. Equal status was granted to the Greek and Turkish languages.