1960 Constitution of the
Republic of Cyprus
The Constitution, summarized below, entered into force on 16 August 1960,
when Cyprus became an independent republic.
The State of Cyprus
The State of Cyprus is an independent sovereign Republic with a presidential
The Greek community
comprises all citizens of the Republic who are of Greek origin and whose mother
tongue is Greek or who share the Greek cultural traditions or who are members of
the Greek Orthodox Church.
community comprises all citizens of the Republic who are of Turkish origin and
whose mother tongue is Turkish or who share the Turkish cultural traditions or
who are Muslims.
The official languages of the Republic are Greek and Turkish.
The Republic shall have its own flag of neutral design and colour, chosen
jointly by the President and the Vice-President of the Republic.
The Greek and Turkish communities shall have the right to celebrate respectively the Greek and Turkish national holidays.
The President and The Vice-President
Executive power is vested in the President and the Vice-President, who are
members of the Greek and Turkish Communities respectively, and are elected
by their respective communities to hold office for five years.
The President of the Republic, as Head of State represents the Republic in
all its official functions; signs the credentials of diplomatic envoys, and
receives the credentials of the foreign diplomatic envoys; signs the credentials of delegates for negotiation of international treaties, conventions
or other agreements; signs the letter relating to the transmission of the
instruments of ratification of any international treaties, conventions, or
agreements; confers the honours of the Republic.
The Vice-President of the Republic, as Vice-Head of the State, has the right
to be present at all official functions; at the presentation of the credentials
of foreign diplomatic envoys; to recommend to the President the conferment of
honours on members of the Turkish Community, which recommendation the President
shall accept unless there are grave reasons to the contrary.
The election of the
President and the Vice-President of the Republic shall be direct, by universal
suffrage and secret ballot, and shall, except in the case of a by-election, take
place of the same day but separately. The office of the President and of the
Vice-President shall be incompatible with that of a Minister or of a
Representative or of a member of a Communal Chamber or of a member of any
municipal council including a Mayor or a member of the armed or security forces
of the Republic or with a public or municipal office.
The President and
Vice-President of the Republic are invested by the House of Representatives. The
President and the Vice-President of the Republic, in order to ensure the
executive power, shall have a Council of Ministers composed of seven Greek
Ministers and three Turkish Ministers. [It was stipulated that one of the three
major ministries, Defence, Finance, or Foreign Affairs, should be held by a
The Ministers shall be designated respectively
by the President and the Vice-President of the Republic who shall appoint them
by an instrument signed by them both. The President convenes and presides over
the meetings of the Council of Ministers, while the Vice- President may ask the
President to convene the Council and may take part in the discussions.
The decisions of
the Council of Ministers shall be taken by an absolute majority and shall,
unless the right of final veto or return is exercised by the President or the
Vice-President of the Republic or both, be promulgated immediately by them.
The executive power exercised by the President and the Vice-President of
the Republic conjointly consists of:
determining the design and colour of the flag;
creation or establishment of honours;
appointment of the members of the Council of Ministers;
promulgation by publication of
the decisions of the Council of Ministers;
promulgation or publication of any law or decision passed by the
House of Representatives;
appointments and termination of appointments as in Articles provided;
(g) institution of compulsory military service;
reduction or increase of the security forces;
exercise of the prerogative of mercy in capital cases;
remission, suspension, and commutation of sentences;
right of references to the Supreme Constitutional Court and Publication
of the Court Decisions; and
address of messages to the
House of Representatives.
powers which may be exercised separately by the President and Vice-President
include: designation and termination of appointment of Greek and Turkish
Ministers respectively; the right of final veto on Council decisions and on laws
concerning foreign affairs, defence or security; the publication of the communal
laws and decisions of the Greek and Turkish Communal Chambers respectively; the right of recourse to the Supreme Constitutional Court; the
prerogative of mercy in capital cases; and addressing messages to the House of Representatives.
The Council of Ministers
The Council of
Ministers shall exercise executive power in all matters, other than those which
are within the competence of a Communal Chamber, including the following:
and control of the government of the Republic, and the general direction of
foreign affairs, defence and
defence, and security;
supervision of all public services;
disposition of property belonging to the Republic;
Bills to be introduced to the House of Representatives by a Minister;
making of any order
or regulation for carrying into effect of any law as provided by such law; and
the Budget of the Republic to be introduced to the House of Representatives.
The House of Representatives
The legislative power of the
Republic shall be exercised by the House of Representatives in
all matters except those expressly reserved to the Communal Chambers.
The number of Representatives shall be 50, subject to alteration by a re-
solution of the House of Representatives carried by a majority comprising
two-thirds of the Representatives elected by the Greek Community and two-
thirds of the Representatives elected by the Turkish Community.
Out of the number of Representatives, 70% shall be elected by the Greek
Community and 30% by the Turkish Community separately from amongst their
numbers respectively, and, in the case of a contested election, by universal
suffrage and by direct and secret ballot held on the same day.
The term of office of the House
of Representatives shall be for a period of five years.
The President of the House of
Representatives shall be a Greek, and shall be elected by the
Representatives elected by the Greek Community; and the
Vice-President shall be a Turk and shall be elected by the
Representatives elected by the Turkish Community.
The Communal Chambers
The Greek and
Turkish Communities respectively shall elect from amongst their own members a
Communal Chamber. The Communal Chambers shall, in relation to their respective
Community, have competence to exercise legislative power solely with regard to
all religious, educational,
cultural, and teaching matters;
personal status; composition
and instances of courts dealing with civil disputes relating
to personal status and to religious matters; and
imposition of personal taxes
and fees on members of their respective Community in order to
provide for their respective needs.
The Public Service and The Armed Forces
The public service shall be composed as to 70% of Greeks and as to 30%
The Republic shall have an army of 2,000 men, of whom 60% shall be Greeks
and 40% shall be of Turks.
The security forces of the Republic shall consist of the police and gendarmerie and shall have a contingent of 2,000 men. The forces shall be
composed as to 70% of Greeks and as to 30% of Turks.