CYPRUS: The Passing of the Dark Priest

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Constitutionally the job fell for the moment to Spyros Kyprianou, 46, president of the house of representatives. But Kyprianou has heart problems himself. At least two other candidates also want the job, and the Greek vote is split among half a dozen factions. The four major political parties proposed that the solution might be to let Kyprianou hold the post until February, when an election would have been held in any case.

Whoever inherits Makarios' job will be no new Dark Priest. But his problems will be enough to tax a saint. Although the Greek Cypriot community has recovered economically from the 1974 Turkish invasion, the ethnic division of the island is deadlocked. And the broader Greco-Turkish split that has wounded NATO shows no sign of healing. The course ahead for the next President is one that Makarios bequeathed him, and that will surely be a course of serpentine prospects.

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