Cyprus – Politics
The Republic of Cyprus was established in 1960 after the revolution for gaining independence from British rule during the ’50s.
The Republic of Cyprus is a unitary presidential representative republic, whereby the President of Cyprus is both head of state and head of government and is directly elected by the people every 5 years. Executive power is exercised by the government, legislative power is both by the government and the parliament and the judiciary power is independent of the executive and the legislature.
After the Turkish invasion and subsequent division of the island in 1974, the internationally recognized Republic of Cyprus has controlled the southern two-thirds, and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, only recognized by Turkey, the northern one-third.
The parliamentary body, the House of Representatives consists of 80 seats out of which 56 are occupied by Greek Cypriots while the remaining 24 which according to the constitution are reserved for the Turkish Cypriot community, remain empty since the intercommunal violence of 1963. The elections are held every five years.
Cyprus is divided into 6 administrative districts, Nicosia, Limassol, Larnaca, Paphos, Famagusta, and Kerynia which are further divided into municipalities and communities each of which has local self-administration through mayors and councils.
After the establishment of the Republic, Cyprus did not join the Warsaw pact or NATO and instead was among the founding members of the Non-Aligned Movement. It also joined the European Union in 2004 and has adopted the euro as national currency since 2008.
The national flag of the Republic of Cyprus depicts the shape of the entirety of the island in a copper-orange color, symbolizing the large deposits of copper that existed on the island and which has probably given Cyprus its name. Underneath there are two olive branches, a symbol of peace between the island’s two communities, against white color, another symbol of peace. The flag was deliberately designed to promote peace between the two communities and therefore did not include any national or religious symbols. Along with Kosovo whose recognition is still debatable, the Cypriot flag is the only flag that features the shape of the country.
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