Cyprus changes health, justice ministers

Cyprus changes health, justice ministers

Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades reshuffled his cabinet on Tuesday, replacing his health minister who wanted to bow out, and his justice minister who resigned last week.

Anastasiades, whose second five-year term ends in early 2023, replaced Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou who signalled he wished to step down, and Justice Minister Emily Yiolitis, who quit on June 17.

Ioannou led a team widely credited for effectively managing the coronavirus pandemic by introducing early lockdowns and widespread testing. He is replaced by Michalis Hadjipantelas, a chartered accountant.

Yiolitis, who quit after dispatching an angry resignation letter to the president in which she said he had accused her of tarnishing his image, was replaced with Stefi Drakou, a lawyer with a business background in the insurance industry.

Marios Pelekanos, a financial consultant who had run as a candidate in a May 30 parliamentary election for the ruling conservatives, was appointed government spokesman.

He had failed to get elected in the vote, which saw diminished support for Anastasiades’s ruling conservative Disy party as well as for Communist AKEL, the main opposition. The extreme-right wing ELAM party almost doubled its support, putting 4 MPs in the 56 member parliament.

Anastasiades had pledged to create a “government of broad acceptance” following the vote, but his offer was rebuffed by all political parties. He included ELAM, which had links to Greece’s now-outlawed Golden Dawn, in those consultations. 


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