Opposition left-wing Akel’s parliamentary spokesman Nicos Katsourides will no longer hold the high-profile position after the party’s leadership restructuring, yesterday.
This is what Akel leader Andros Kyprianou told journalists after a top-level meeting during which old members of the party’s Central Committee Secretariat and Political Bureau were replaced by younger members.
“Four members of the Secretariat of the Central Committee and five from the Political Bureau expressed their wish to step down and have been replaced,” Kyprianou told journalists.
“Party parliamentary spokesman Nicos Katsourides has also expressed the wish to step down from this post as well since he is leaving both the Political Bureau and the Secretariat. His wishes were respected,” he added.
The much-publicised ‘lifting’ or ‘rejuvenation’ followed the party’s failure last February to win the presidential elections. As well as the loss of credibility from the recent Dromolaxia scandal where a Turkish Cypriot plot of land was controversially bought by CyTA’s board.
Telecommunications chief Stathis Kittis resigned after getting arrested and questioned in connection with this. He was released without being charged.
Two Akel officials were also arrested and questioned by police. Even though Katsourides was not arrested, his name and that of a close family member were rumoured to have been involved in the bribery scandal.
The veteran left-wing politician’s ‘early retirement’ comes three years ahead of time. But he is to continue serving only as an MP.
And the Central Committee will decide who will take over as parliamentary spokesman on January 3.
New members of the Political Bureau are party spokesman George Loukaides, constitutional expert Toumazos Tselepis, George Georgiou, Chrystalla Antoniou and Christos Christofides.
The new members of the Secretariat are Nicos Ioannou, George Loucaides, former government spokesman Stefanos Stefanou and ex-minister Neoclis Sylikiotis.
The Political Bureau’s members are 19 and those of the Central Committee Secretariat seven.
Moreover, an extraordinary congress is scheduled for February 15 and 16 to touch on hot issues that have rocked the foundations of the former ruling party.
“The goal of the congress is to look into issues like the Cyprus problem, the bad economy, promotion of transparency and combating phenomena of corruption and fraud,” Kyprianou had said.
“Under discussion will also come the issue of future alliances and the party contesting power again,” added Kyprianou who ruled out the election of a new party leader in February.
The party’s next election congress is to take place in the autumn of 2015.