Cyprus accessed to independence on 16 August 1960. From April 1959 a transition period began from colonial rule to independence. The transitional government was led by Makarios and Fazil Kucuk, and was composed by seven Greek ministers and three Turks.
The first elections of the Republic of Cyprus were held on 13 December 1959, before the declaration of independence, to elect the President of the Republic. Archbishop Makarios became the first President following his win against Ioannis Clerides, who was supported by the Democratic Union and the Progressive Party of the Working People – AKEL.
A few days earlier, Fazil Kucuk was declared vice-President, unopposed.
Elections for the members of the House of Representatives took place on 31 July 1960. The Patriotic Front and AKEL, candidates from the Union of Fighters and Independents, took part. Candidates for the Paphos constituency were elected unopposed. Under the auspices of President Makarios, an agreement between the protagonists, shortly after the December 1959 presidential election, had determined the outcome. It provided for a share of seats, with the Patriotic Front taking 30 and AKEL only five (with an estimated share of vote over 30%).
Turkish Cypriots held elections in three constituencies (Famagusta, Limassol and Paphos, with candidates of the National Front and independents. All 15 candidates of the Turkish National Front -Kibris Milli Türk Birligi – KMTB were elected.
A week later, on 7 August 1960, separate elections were held for the two Communal Chambers. For the Greek Chamber a contest was held only in the Kyrenia constituency. The Patriotic Front secured 20 and AKEL 3 seats, after a pre-agreed share. Another three seats were occupied by representatives of the Armenian, Maronite and Latins religious groups.
All 30 candidates of the Turkish National Front were elected in the Turkish Communal Chamber, headed by Rauf Denktaş. Elections were held only in the constituency of Limassol, where an independent candidate contested a seat against the National Front candidates.
The aim of the mainstream forces in both the Turkish and the Greek communities was to avoid elections altogether, both for the House of Representatives and for the Communal Chambers. Their efforts, however, were successful in some constituencies only, as independent candidates and groups insisted on contesting the election. Several candidates (including the sole female candidate) succumbed to pressures and withdrew before the election day.
On 25 September 1960, by-elections were held for four seats vacated after deputies were appointed ministers. Dafnis Panagides was elected in Limassol to replace Andreas Papadopoulos, Deniz Kemal Mehmet replaced Osman Örek, Ibrahim Orhan replaced Fazil Plumer and Nebi Nabil took over the seat of Niyazi Manyera.
In December 1961, 11 deputies left the National Front to join an independent Turkish Cypriot group in thee House of Representatives.
In September 1963, Şemsettin Kazim Halit was killed in a car accident and his wife Ayla Kazim Halit took over his seat as the first female deputy of the new Republic.
The events and the inter-communal conflict that started before Christmas in 1963 led to the collapse of a bi-communal Cypriot State. From now on, the Greek Cypriots took control of the posts and offices provided for in the Constitution of the Republic of Cyprus. Turkish Cypriots set up temporary structures of administration in the areas under their control.
In 1965, the Communal Chambers were abolished by law. The responsibilities of the Greek Communal Chamber passed to the Ministry of Education, which was set up specifically for this purpose. The situation that prevailed at the time led the government to postpone elections. In 1965, new laws were adopted, providing for a single electoral roll, abolishing laws for holding separate elections, and extending the term of office of the House and President of the Republic.
In response, Turkish Cypriot leaders took similar decisions, extending the term of office of the vice-President Fazil Kucuk and of the Turkish Cypriot deputies.
On 30 December 1967, the Turkish Cypriot leaders declared the Turkish Cypriot Provisional Autonomous Administration, a move establishing a dual administration on the island.
Makarios decided to call a presidential election in February 1968, with the aim of securing the approval by the people of his new policy on the Cyprus Problem. The option was for a “feasible” solution, i.e. independence, against the desirable, Enosis or Union with Greece, pursued despite the 1960 establishment of the Republic of Cyprus.
The opponent of Makarios in the election was a psychiatrist, Takis Evdokas, supported by a faction that continued to pursue the goal of Union with Greece. Evdokas secured less than 4% in a contest marked by intimidation and pressures by the power holders.
Turkish Cypriots proceeded to similar actions, by electing unopposed vice-President Fazil Kucuk.
Two years later, in July 1970, elections were held for new members to the House of Representatives, the term of which lasted 10 years. AKEL and the newly established formations, the United Party of the National Front (Eniaion), the Progressive Front, the United Democratic Union of the Center and the Democratic National Party (the only political opposition to Makarios), took part in the contest.
The United Party of the National Front (Eniaion) secured 15 seats, AKEL nine, the Progressive Party seven and EDEK two. Two seats were occupied by independent candidates.
In the same year, the first Turkish Cypriot Party was founded, the Republican Turkish Party – CTP, under Ahmet Mithat Berberoğlu.
Presidential elections were called in February 1973, with Makarios declared President without opposition. EOKA B’s terrorist activity to overthrow the government had already started, and its leadership imposed its will on the National Coordination Committee of National Struggle – ESEA, its political branch, to avoid running a candidate.
As already observed, during the above period, Turkish Cypriots proceeded to actions similar to those of the Greek Cypriots, by extending the term of office of the Vice President and members of Parliament, or by holding their own elections. They ended up with candidates of the mainstream forces winning unopposed.