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Demetris Christofias dies 1

Former president of the South Demetris Christofias died on Friday, a month after he was hospitalized for acute breathing problems. He was 72.

Demetris Christofias dies 2

One of Cyprus’ best-known politicians who for years was the face of left-wing Akel, Christofias was born in Dikomo on August 29, 1946, and educated in Cyprus and Moscow.

Climbing up the ranks of Akel which he joined in 1964, including as leader of its youth wing Edon, he was first elected general secretary of the party in 1988 and was re-elected another four times.

First elected a member of parliament for Kyrenia in 1991, he was elected president of the House of Representatives in 2001. It was during his second term as a speaker that he was elected president of the South in 2008.

He did not seek re-election.

Christofias was admitted to Nicosia General Hospital on May 20 with breathing problems and moved to the ICU on May 21.

Earlier on Friday his doctor Michalis Mina told Ant1 TV  that the damage to his lungs was irreversible and that doctors had no alternative ways to deal with the problem.

He is survived by his wife Elsie and three children.

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