Progressive Party of the Working People of Cyprus

Progressive Party of the Working People of Cyprus


(Anorthotiko komma tu ergazomenu lau; AKEL), a political party in Cyprus; founded on Apr. 14, 1941, as the successor to the Communist Party of Cyprus.

During World War II (1939–45), more than 700 members of the party fought in the British Army against fascist Germany. After the war, AKEL organized the working people’s struggle for the liberation of Cyprus from British colonial rule, the improvement of working conditions, and a higher standard of living. After the Sixth Congress, held in August 1949, AKEL became organizationally and politically stronger and its influence among the masses increased. In November 1955 the British authorities declared a state of emergency in Cyprus and outlawed the activities of AKEL and other democratic organizations; 135 AKEL leaders were arrested. AKEL resumed legal activity after the state of emergency was lifted on Dec. 4, 1959.

The Tenth Congress of AKEL, held in March 1962, adopted a new party program (the previous program, the minimum program Road to Freedom, was adopted in 1954). The congress declared that since foreign imperialist circles retained a strong position in Cyprus, which became an independent republic on Aug. 16, 1960, the people’s struggle during that stage was an anti-imperialist struggle for national liberation. The party believed complete independence of Cyprus, the liquidation of the vestiges of the colonial regime and military bases, the democratization of society, and the revival of the economy to be the necessary preconditions for the restructuring of society according to socialist principles. AKEL favored the unification of all patriotic forces into one anti-imperialist front and the peaceful settlement of Cyprus’ problems according to the principles of the equality and self-determination of peoples and the sovereignty of states.

The resolutions of the Thirteenth Congress (April 1974) were intended to unify and mobilize the nation against imperialist plans for the liquidation of the Republic of Cyprus, to support the anti-imperialist policies of the government of Makarios III, to encourage cooperation and friendship between Greek and Turkish Cypriots, and to develop the country’s economy.

In the parliamentary elections of July 1970, nine AKEL members, who received 40.7 percent of the vote, were elected deputies to the House of Representatives. In response to the military coup organized by NATO militarist circles (July 15, 1974) and the landing of Turkish troops in Cyprus (July 20, 1974), the AKEL Central Committee declared that the Cyprus problem should be solved by the independence and territorial integrity of Cyprus, the recognition of the sovereign rights of the Cypriots, the withdrawal of all foreign troops from the country, the implementation of a policy of nonalignment, the formation of a democratic government, and the equal treatment of Greek and Turkish citizens. AKEL delegations attended the international Conferences of Communist and Workers’ Parties held in Moscow in 1960 and 1969 and approved the resolutions of these conferences and of one held in 1957.

Table 1. AKEL congresses
1 Near the city
Founding .............SkarinuApr. 14, 1941
First .................LimassolOct. 5, 1941
Second ..............FamagustaJan.30–31, 1943
Third ................LarnaxApr. 23, 1944
Fourth ...............NicosiaAug. 18–20, 1945
Fifth .................NicosiaSept. 13–15, 1947
Sixth ................NicosiaAug. 27–28, 1949
Seventh ..............NicosiaDec. 1–2, 1951
Eighth ...............NicosiaMar. 5–7, 1954
Ninth ................Famagusta1Sept. 9.1959
Tenth ................NicosiaMar. 8–11, 1962
Eleventh ..............NicosiaMar. 3–6, 1966
Twelfth ...............NicosiaMar. 5–8, 1970
Thirteenth .............NicosiaApr. 25–28, 1974

AKEL, which has 12,000 members (1974), relies on the support of the popular democratic organizations of Cyprus. Its bylaws, adopted in 1941, state that the party is organized according to the principles of democratic centralism. The highest party organ is the congress, convoked once every four years. (See Table 1 for a list of AKEL congresses.) Between congresses the party’s activity is directed by the Central Committee, which elects the Politburo and the Secretariat of the Central Committee from among its members. The general secretary of AKEL is I. Pappaioannou. The central party organ is the newspaper Harauge, and the political-theoretical organ is the journal Neos demokrates.


Progressivnaia partiia trudovogo naroda Kipra, X s”ezd. [Materialy]. Moscow, 1963. (Translated from Greek.)


References in periodicals archive ?
From the age of 14 he began working in youth organisations, and when he was 18 he joined the Communist party: the Progressive Party of the Working People of Cyprus (AKEL).
He became involved in leftist politics early in his youth and held several positions with the youth movement of AKEL (the Progressive Party of the Working People of Cyprus).

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