Dimitris Christofias, the Communist leader known best for his disastrous term as the “unlucky” Cyprus President has died at the age of 72. The former President, whose one and only term was marred with political frustrations, mishaps and financial crisis died in the capital city of Nicosia.
Born to a working-class family in Kyrenia (now in Turkish Cyprus), Mr. Christofias studied history at the Academy of Social Sciences in Moscow, and became involved with politics and the left-wing ideology as a young man. He returned to Cyprus after earning his doctorate in Moscow, joined the Communist Party and rose steadily through the ranks, earning the post of secretary general in 1988. He became Cyprus’s first ever communist leader in 2008 by securing one-third votes in the initial round and a clear majority in the runoff. He was also regarded as the most popular politician at the time.
His term, however, was a disastrous one, with Cyprus reaching the height of financial crisis, further deterioration of the Cyprus issue, and the explosion near the naval base. The latter essentially ended his short-lived and already damaged Presidential career, as Mr. Christofias was blamed for not paying any attention to any amount of growing warnings of things becoming dodgy in the Mediterranean area.
By the time of his term’s expiry in February 2013, Christofias had become highly unpopular, and to that end did not opt to try and get himself re-elected. He was succeeded by political conservative leader Nicos Anastasiades.
According to the Progressive Party of the Working People (AKEL), Mr. Christofias’s had been suffering from a severe lung illness. He is survived by his wife, Elsie, son, Christos, and daughters, Christina and Marianna.