NICOSIA - President Anastasiades on Tuesday kept everyone guessing about the composition of the cabinet amid reports the Council of Ministers may well remain unchanged.
Speculation rose to fever pitch after three Diko ministers – Kyriakos Kenevezos, Fotis Fotiou and Petros Petrides on Monday cut their ties from their party over its decision to split from the government.
The fourth – Energy Minister George Lakkotrypis resigned from Diko last week.
“No-one can decide or pre-decide on my behalf. When I take my decisions I will announce them,” said the president when asked what he planned to do.
All 11 ministers have tendered their resignations but the president has asked them to remain in office until March 15 so that he can decide how to proceed.
Earlier yesterday deputy government spokesman Victoras Papadopoulos said he was not aware of the president’s thoughts but said an announcement was imminent.
Official Diko has warned that keeping the ministers in Cabinet would be seen as a hostile act.
Party spokeswoman Christiana Erotocritou reiterated that the ministers’ decision had not come as a surprise.
“The decision of Mssrs Lakkotrypis, Fotiou, Kenevezou and Petrides to leave the Democratic Party, its people and its positions is to be respected, whatever the motives may have been,” Erotocritou said.
“Diko has moved on to the next day. The only challenge it faces are the difficult matters of the economy and the rapid and unfavourable developments on the Cyprus issue,” she added.
The four were expected to quit when Diko narrowly approved its president’s Nicolas Papadopoulos (photo) proposal to withdraw support from the government because of Anastasiades’ handling of the Cyprus issue.
Their failure to do so has been seen as a show of strength by the internal Diko opposition led by former Marios Garoyian who retains close ties with Anastasiades. The deputy government spokesman confirmed the two men had met in Limassol earlier this week, but said this had no bearing on the president’s decisions.
Anastasiades must choose between those who helped elect him president at the risk of burning bridges with official Diko, or show himself to be ungrateful for support he has repeatedly publicly acknowledged.