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Cyprus president appoints four new ministers
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12:39, July 14, 2007

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Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos appointed four new ministers to fill the vacancies after the biggest party Akel left the coalition with its ministers, the government announced on Friday.

Four ministers from Akel submitted their resignations on Wednesday as the left-wing party withdrew their support for the incumbent president and put forward their own leader as candidate in next February's presidential election.

President Papadopoulos appointed career diplomat Erato Kozakou Markoulli as foreign minister to replace Yiorgos Lillykas.

Maria Malahtou Papalli is the new minister of communications and works, Costas Kadis takes over as minister of health and Christos Patsalides becomes the new interior minister.

The four new ministers will be sworn in next Monday.

Cyprus's three-party coalition government collapsed after AKEL decided to support its own leader and parliament speaker Dimitris Christofias in next year's presidential election.

Akel, socialist EDEK and Papadopoulos's DIKO voted the incumbent president into power in 2003. But AKEL disagrees with Papadopoulos over his stance on the island's reunification, which it considers to be too hardline.

Despite the withdrawal of Akel-back ministers, the government will continue functioning as normal until February's presidential election.

Source: Xinhua

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