The progressive party of the working people (AKEL): AKEL is descended from the Communist Party of Cyprus, which held its first congress in 1926 but was declared illegal by British authorities in 1931. Constituted in 1941, AKEL absorbed the Communist party but was itself declared illegal from 1955 to 1959. As a communist party based on the principles of Marxism-Leninism, AKEL works for a fully independent, sovereign, non-aligned, demilitarized, democratic and federal Cyprus and for socialism. The General Secretary of the party is Demetris Christofias. The party polled 30.5% of the vote cast in the 1991 House of Representatives election, winning 18 seats.

LEADER: Demetris Christofias

Born in the village of Kato Dhikomo, Kyrenia district, on August 29, 1946.

Studied at the Institute of Social Sciences and the Academy of Social Sciences in Moscow from 1969 to 1974 where he received the Diploma and the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in History (Ph. D. history).

1974 Elected to the post of Central Organising Secretary of EDON (AKEL's Youth Section).

1977-87 General Secretary of EDON

1986 Full member of Polit Bureau of AKEL

1988 Elected General Secretary of AKEL

1991 Elected Member of the House of Representatives.

Married with three children.