By Kyriacos Kyriacou-Nicosia
The new Cabinet members appointed by the President of the Republic in a mini reshuffle were sworn in on Friday in a ceremony that took place at the Presidential Palace. Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades said the institution of the President who acts as the guardian of the unity was superior to his personal feelings in shaping the new cabinet.
Anastasiades proceeded with a mini government reshuffle following the withdrawal of junior coalition partner Democratic Party (DIKO) which demanded the resignation of the party`s four Ministers. DIKO decided last Wednesday to leave the government coalition over disagreements with President Nicos Anastasiades concerning the terms included in the joint declaration, signed by Anastasiades and Turkish leader Dervis Eroglou for the resumption of the peace talks to unify divided Cyprus (since Turkish invasion in 1974).
“I will not conceal that in last days I was in front of excruciating dilemmas and choices which brought the constitutional options and political ethics in conflict with human feelings towards established associates,” said Nicos Anastasiades in an address following the swearing in ceremony at the Presidential Palace.
“Dilemmas as to whether I would respect an unfounded and unjustified decision or accept the rules of political ethics as they have been shaped in our political system,” he said, adding that these dilemmas brought him before the question of whether he would damage the office of the President or succumb to his conscience.
He added however that “the institution of the President had to precede that of the man Nicos Anastasiades and as the guardian of unity I regretfully accepted the resignation of three established and close associates (three DIKO ministers).”
“The sole criterion is the best interest of the country and not party antics,” Anastasiades added, making clear that the right to select the members of the government lies solely with the President of the Republic.
He praised the outgoing Ministers thanking them for their valuable contribution to the government which in its first year in office averted a disorderly default putting the foundations for a “new promising prospect.”
“Exemplary technocratic capacity”
Anastasiades also praised the new Ministers for their exemplary technocratic capacity and their distinguished presence in the Cypriot society, adding that both he and the people expect that in exercising their duties they will apply transparency, good governance and impartiality, they will combat corruption, restore the credibility of the institutions and combat any form of discrimination.
On behalf of the Ministers, Tasos Mitsopoulos who was re-assigned at the Defence Ministry assured they will work tirelessly and will meet the citizens` expectations to bring about badly needed reforms and to contribute to kick starting the economy.
“Achieving this dual aim is not a personal of selfish bet, but concerns all Cypriots,” he said.
Former Minister of Communications and Works Tasos Mitsopoulos was sworn in first as Minister of Defence, followed by Costas Kadis as Minister of Education and Culture, Marios Demetriades as Minister of Communications and Works, and Philippos Patsalis as Minister of Health.