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Former president Demetris Christofias has died, funeral Tuesday (update 2)

Demetris Christofias

Former president Demetris Christofias has died after a month-long battle with respiratory problems, it was announced on Friday. He was 72.

Doctors had said earlier that his health condition was extremely critical and irreversible.

Christofias has been in the Nicosia general hospital’s intensive care unit since May 20 after being admitted with acute respiratory problems.

Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou said Christofias passed away at around 5.40pm, as he expressed his condolences to the family of “a man who had served the country faithfully for decades.”

Christofias’ wife, Elsi, who was at his side, left the hospital at 5.45pm. Akel leader Andros Kyprianou had also paid a visit.

Parties, politicians and organisations, including Turkish Cypriots, expressed their condolences.

President Nicos Anastasiades expressed his condolences to the family and said he was greatly saddened by the news of Christofias’ death.

“A politician with whom for years we followed parallel paths, but always for the good of the country.”

A presidency statement said Anastasiades has convened a cabinet meeting on Saturday to make decisions about the funeral.

Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci expressed his profound sadness over the death of the former president. Akinci extended his sincere condolences to the family, Akel, and the Greek Cypriot community.

Born in Dikomo, Kyrenia, in 1946, Christofias was the Republic’s sixth president, serving between 2008 and 2013.

On the day of his election, Christofias was serving his second term as House president, a position he took in 2001.

Akel, the party he led between 1988 and 2009, expressed condolences to the late president’s family.

The party said the details of his funeral will be decided with the family. It is understood it will be held on Tuesday.

 

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