CYPRUS: Famagusta Mayor Alexis Galanos dies aged 78

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Famagusta Mayor and Cyprus’ former House Speaker Alexis Galanos has died at the age of 78 while on holiday with his wife on the Greek island of Kos. 

Reportedly, Galanos passed away suddenly while on his Greek holiday.

The eighth Speaker of the House and keen collector of crime thrillers was born on August 30, 1940 in Famagusta.

He studied at the University of Cambridge, where he received a postgraduate degree in economics and sociology. He also studied Law at the London Inner Temple where he became a Barrister at Law.

He was a founding member of the Democratic Party (DIKO) and in 1989 he was elected general secretary and in 1990 was elected as the party's vice-president.

He first took part in parliamentary elections in 1976 and was elected MP in the district of Famagusta, and was re-elected in 1981, 1985, 1991 and 1996. He served as House speaker during his 1991-1996 term.

In 1998, he announced his decision to resign as a member of DIKO when he disagreed with then party president Spyros Kyprianou's decision to support AKEL’s candidate George Iacovou in the 1998 presidential election and in 1999 he resigned as a member of the House of Representatives.

In 1998 he created the Eurodemocratic Renewal Party and was its first president. Galanos also ran for president in the 1998 presidential elections and received 16,003 votes (4.04%).

In 2006 he was elected as Famagusta mayor building his campaign around the demand for the return of the ghost town of Varoshia to its legal inhabitants.

Galanos is survived by his wife Alexandra-Demetriou and his two children.