Published 3rd May, 2011
The Democratic Party or DIKO was founded in 1976 as the Democratic Front. It describes itself as a centrist party with a philosophy of social centrism and supported President Makarios’ policy of a ‘long term struggle’ against the Turkish occupation of Cyprus.
In their first election in 1976 DIKO won 21 seats in the 35 seats parliament and became the largest party.
In 1977, when President Makarios died, DIKO leader Spyros Kyprianou became president. He was elected unopposed in 1978 and re-elected in 1983, but failed in 1988 having served two full terms.
In 1981 the party dropped to eight seats with just 19.5% of the vote but in 1985 its fortunes improved and it increased its seats total to 16 out of 56.
In 1989 DIKO merged with the Centre Union party but in 1991 it managed to win just 11 seats. Its fortunes have not improved since that time, winning ten seats in 1996, nine seats in 2001 and 11 seats in 2006.
However, in 2003 their presidential candidate Tassos Papadopoulos won in the first round with 51.51% of the vote, a position he held until 2008.