Cypriot President Demetris Christofias stepped down as leader of the ruling Communist AKEL party on Wednesday after 20 years at the helm.
Moderate Andros Kyprianou succeeded Christofias, who became Cyprus's first communist president in February 2008.
Christofias, whose presidential term expires in 2013, said he would remain a party member.
Christofias began peace talks with Turkish Cyprus after his election last year and Kyprianou is involved in rapprochement efforts.
Although communist in structure, the AKEL espouses free market economics.
Wednesday's election was by secret ballot. Kyprianou won 54 percent of the vote.
Last Mod: 22 Ocak 2009, 09:10