Cyprus gov’t coalition ends

Cyprus’s three-party coalition government was dissolved yesterday after the country’s largest party AKEL withdrew support for President Tassos Papadopoulos and said it would support its own leader Dimitris Christofias in next year’s elections. The communist AKEL disagrees with Papadopoulos over his stance on the island’s reunification, which it considers to be too hardline. The other two parties in the coalition, socialist EDEK and Papadopoulos’s DIKO, said they will support the president. They both refused to back Christofias as a presidential candidate next February. «This is a regrettable development,» said Christofias. «If there were disagreements, we never heard them,» said Yiannis Omirou, head of EDEK. As a result of yesterday’s developments four AKEL-backed ministers are set to be replaced today. Papadopoulos has not indicated who their replacements will be. The government will then continue functioning as normal until February’s presidential election.

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