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February 21, 1988: Vassiliou is elected President of Cyprus

Cars with horns blaring raced through the streets of Nicosia as the result was announced after midnight

Image Credit: Gulf News Archives
George Vassiliou.
Gulf News

1988 - Greek Cypriots elected leftist-backed independent George Vassiliou as their new president after the most closely fought campaign since independence from Britain 28 years ago. Vassiliou, 56, beat veteran right-winger Glafkos Clerides by just over three percentage points in a run-off poll and appealed for calm in a television address. “There should be no provocations,” he said. “We should not divide the people between winners and losers.” Cars with horns blaring raced through the streets of Nicosia as the result was announced after midnight. Vassiliou said one of his first acts would be to set up a national council to deal with the “Cyprus problem” the reunification of the island following occupation of the northern third by Turkish troops in 1974.

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