AKEL C.C. Press Office, 31 August 2018, Nicosia
The Central Committee of AKEL announces the passing away of the veteran of the Party and mass organizations of the Left of Cyprus, Michalis Poumbouris. Michalis Poumbouris, for decades a leading cadre of AKEL, has linked his name with AKEL, with the struggles of the working class and people’sassertions, with the resistance to fascism and chauvinism and the struggle for the independence and freedom of our homeland.
Born in 1919, in the Famagusta District village of Marathovounosto a poor peasantfamily, Michalis Poumbouris began working for his living atthe age of 11 years old as a construction worker and a worker in the mines. He became active in his Local Association and took part in the construction worker’sstrike at the military hospital. He became a member of AKEL in 1941 and in June 1943, responding to the call issued by the Central Committee of AKEL enlistedas a volunteer in the fight against Hitler-Fascism. He fought on the battle fronts of Italy right to the end of the Second World War. With the end of the war, he was actively involved in the movement organized by the Cypriot soldiers for their demobilization and was imprisoned by the British for his activity, along with hundreds of other Cypriots, in the Khatapa military camp in the desert of Egypt until May 1946.
On his return to Cyprus, he became Secretary of the AKEL Party Organization of Marathovouno and subsequently Secretary of the Party Regional Committee of Lefkoniko, leading the struggles and assertions of the region’s peasants and farmers. At the 8th Congress of the Party he was elected a member of the C.C. of AKEL and in 1955 elected Secretary of the AKEL District Organization of Famagusta, where he was reelected continuously to the postup to 1988. From 1957 until 1987 he was a member of the Political Bureau of the Party. In December 1955, with AKEL banned by the British colonialists, he was arrested together with dozens of other leading militants of AKEL and imprisoned until 1957. As a leader of the AKEL District Organization of Famagusta he lived at first hand the terror campaign of murders unleashed by the extreme-right of Grivas and played a decisive role in the mass popular mobilizations and in avoiding a civil war.
From 1981 to 1991 he was elected Member of Parliamentfor the Famagusta District and worked tirelessly to alleviate the sufferingof the refugees (after the Turkish invasion). During the last two years of his parliamentary term he was Parliamentary Representative of AKEL, while he made a decisive contribution in the upholding and defence of the ideological and organizational principles of AKEL during the period 1990-91. After his retirement Michalis Poumbouris devoted his time to writing books which are a valuable source of knowledge on the history of AKEL and Cyprus.
Michalis Poumbouris, with his unwavering faith in communist ideology and his dedication to the Party, with his ethos and humbleness, with his contribution to the struggles of our people and homeland, left his markon AKEL, but also in Cypriot History. AKEL bids farewell to Michalis Poumbouris with the vowthat it willbe worthyof his heritage and expresses its heartfelt condolences to his family.