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Funeral for Vassos Lyssarides on Wednesday, venue changed (Updated)

Vassos Lyssarides

The funeral of the former leader of Edek Vassos Lyssarides will be held on Wednesday May 5.
Lyssarides, a central figure in Cyprus politics since the island’s independence, died on April 26 at the age of 100.

It was originally announced that the funeral would take place at  the Saint Varnavas church in the old town of Nicosia at 11am but on Sunday a new announcement by Edek said that due to Covid protocols the service had been changed to the Ayia Sophia Church in Strovolos.  The service will be conducted by the Archbishop as originally planned.

Condolence messages and donations in his memory can be made at ourbeloved.cy. Donations will go to the Lyssarides Foundation for scholarships to low-income Pancyprian Gymanasium school leavers

Born on May 13, 1920, Lyssarides played a crucial role in the events leading up to – and following – Cyprus struggle for independence.

Lyssarides commanded his own armed group which was to play a significant role in key events, most notably forging a strong alliance with Archbishop Makarios. Lyssarides also served as Makarios’ personal physician.

The armed group fought against Turkish Cypriots and Turkish officers in the  Pentadaktylos  during the intercommunal troubles in 1963-1964 and against Eoka B from 1971-1974.

He survived an assassination attempt on August 30, 1974. During the attack, Edek youth leader Doros Loizou was killed

In 1960 he was elected member of the first parliament of the Republic as a candidate for the Patriotic Front and remained an MP until 2006.

In 1969, Lyssarides founded Edek, the first socialist political party of Cyprus.

He was repeatedly elected president of his party until 2001, at which point he passed on the reins of power to the younger generation.

He had close connections with other anti-colonial, liberation or otherwise left-wing figures such as Nelson Mandela, Yasser Arafat, Fidel Castro and Josip Tito.

He was elected and served as president of the House of Representatives from 1985 to 1991.

Lyssarides never held the office of president, despite running in 1983, 1988 and 1998, but was widely respected and influential as an MP and leader of Edek.

He was regarded as a hardliner on the Cyprus problem as he strongly opposed a bizonal and bicommunal federation.

He was married to an American, Barbara Cornwall, who predeceased him. The couple had no children.

Condolence messages and donations in his memory can be made here: https://ourbeloved.cy/entries/159 for the Lyssarides Foundation for scholarships to low-income Pancyprian Gymanasium school leavers

Obituary at ourbeloved.cy

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