Cypriot ex-president dies of cancer

The 74-year-old was a veteran in Cyprus' politics.

    Papadopoulos was rallying Greek Cypriots to reject a UN peace deal in 2004 [GALLO/GETTY]

    He lost his bid for re-election in February 2008.

    His successor, Dimitris Christofias, expressed his condolences and said Papadopoulos was one of the key actors in Cyprus' modern history.

    "From a young age, Tassos Papadopoulos dedicated his life to the freedom struggle of the Cypriot people and played a lead role for the Cyprus Republic's cause," Christofias said.

    Christofias declared three days of mourning starting on Saturday. Papadopoulos' funeral will be held on Monday, and the day has been declared a public holiday.

    Political veteran

    Papadopoulos was a veteran of Cyprus politics. He was a leader of the Greek Cypriot guerrilla group EOKA, which waged the campaign against British colonial rule before Cyprus gained independence in 1960.

    At 26, he became a minister in Cyprus' first post-independence government.

    It was Papadopoulos who submitted a proposal in 1977 for a federated Cyprus tying together two distinct zones.

    After several stints in parliament, he was elected leader of the centre-right Democratic party in 2000.

    Karolos Papoulias, Greece's president, said Papadopoulos had "fought with passion and consistency for the future of Cypriot Hellenism ... always within the framework of democratic legality".

    The Mediterranean island was divided in a Turkish invasion in 1974 triggered by a Greek-inspired coup to unite the island with Greece.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    Heron Gate mass eviction: 'We never expected this in Canada'

    Hundreds face mass eviction in Canada's capital

    About 150 homes in one of Ottawa's most diverse and affordable communities are expected to be torn down in coming months

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    In 1959, a year before Nigeria's independence, a 23-year-old student helped colour the country's identity.