orig. Mikhai Khristodolou Mouskos
(born Aug. 13, 1913, Pano Panayia, Cyprus—died Aug. 3, 1977, Nicosia) Archbishop and primate of the Orthodox Church of Cyprus and president of Cyprus (1959–77). Son of a poor shepherd, he was ordained in 1946; he became bishop in 1948 and archbishop in 1950. A supporter of Cyprus's union with Greece, opposing both independence and partition, he negotiated with the British governor of Cyprus (1955–56) but was arrested for sedition and exiled. In 1959 he accepted independence for Cyprus and was elected president, with a Turkish vice president. Twice reelected, he fled Cyprus following an attempted coup by the Greek Cypriot National Guard (1974). Despite a subsequent invasion by Turkey and the establishment of a separate Turkish Cypriot state in the north, he resisted partition of the country.
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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.