Cyprus voting hews to centrist course
Nicosia, Cyprus — Cyprus appears to be continuing an almost textbook-centrist course -- but with a strong new showing by the pro-Western right, Monitor correspondent John Yemma reports.
Parliamentary elections this week gave the communist Akel party 12 seats, the center-right party of Glafcos Clerides 12, and the center-left party of President Spyros Kyprianou 8, with 3 to the radical socialist party.
The Communists and Mr. Kyprianou are expected again to constitute the ruling coalition, giving Mr. Kyprianou the support he needs to follow a nonaligned foreign policy. But Mr. Clerides, out of power for almost five years, has staged a political comeback and seems in good position for the 1983 presidential race.
The Akel party won the popular vote by a small margin, but its lack of clear-cut control in the parliament should deemphasize its influence. Considered one of the most loyal communist parties outside the Eastern bloc, Akel has been pushing for removal of British bases from Cyprus and has often accused the United States of complicity in the 1974 Turkish invasion.
The elections were the first held under proportional representation -- and the first relatively removed from the era of the late Archbishop Makarios, who dominated Cypriot politics f or 17 of the last 20 years.