Cyprus: Country and Foreign Investment
Cyprus is an independent sovereign republic. The 1960 constitution established a unicameral presidential republic, as well as safeguarding human rights, political pluralism and private property. The country is a member of the UN, the Council of Europe and the Commonwealth.
Members of the House of Representatives are elected for a 5-year term by proportional representation; voting is universal and compulsory. There is a multi-party system with right-wing, centrist, socialist and communist parties.
The last parliamentary elections took place in May 2016. The top four parties were the Democratic Rally (DISY), who gained 18 seats, followed by the left-wing Progressive Party (AKEL) with 16, centrist Democratic Party (DIKO) with 9 and the centre-left Social Democrats (EDEK) with 3.
The last presidential election, in February 2013, saw Nicos Anastasiades of DISY gain the presidency. The executive consists of the president plus the cabinet, which is appointed by the president.
Voting in Cyprus is compulsory for all Greek Cypriots over 18, including those enclaved in the Turkish-occupied north, Latins, Maronites, Armenians and others who are citizens of the Republic of Cyprus through naturalisation.
There is an independent judiciary, and the Cyprus Supreme Court is the final court of appeal, although of course now that Cyprus is a member of the EU, the European Court of Justice has jurisdiction in some areas of law.
Ongoing differences over the North dominates politics. Formerly, Turkey's possible accession to the EU was another major point of interest. Since April 2017, with Turkley becoming an autocratic state, this is no longer on the cards.
However, the Greek Cypriot government urged the EU to push first for action in areas such as the opening of Turkish ports and airports to Cypriot vessels, and the recognition by Turkey of the authorities in Nicosia.
According to reports, they argued that Turkey had made no progress in these areas, and only withdrew their veto, allowing the first of 35 chapters to be opened, once a version of the agreement text had been drawn up which warned Turkey that: "Failure to implement its obligations in full will affect the overall progress in the negotiations."