Cyprus reshuffle after split

The Cyprus government yesterday appointed four new ministers to replace deputies of AKEL who quit Cyprus’s ruling coalition after the Communist party decided to field its own candidate in forthcoming presidential elections. Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos appointed career diplomat Erato Kozakou-Markoullis as foreign minister. Markoullis, the island’s former ambassador to the USA, takes over from Giorgos Lillikas, who was one of the deputies that quit. Academics Christos Patsalidis and Costas Kadi were appointed interior and health ministers respectively. And state attorney Maria Malahtou-Pampalli took the transport portfolio. The new ministers are to be sworn in on Monday. Communist AKEL, the country’s largest party, split from the three-party coalition earlier this week following disagreements with Papadopoulos over tactics in efforts to reunify the divided island. The other two coalition parties, socialist EDEK and Papadopoulos’s DIKO, say they will support the president.

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