President Nikos Christodoulides is following in the footsteps of former President Nicos Anastasiades when it comes to appointing advisors, AKEL MP Aristos Damianou said on Wednesday.
The opposition MP added to the heavy criticism faced by the government after it emerged that several people were appointed for jobs they were not qualified for.
Speaking to Astra radio, Damianou said that two and a half months into Christodoulides’ presidency, there have been multiple cases of embezzlement and cronyism, and appointments to confirm that.
The new president was and is exposed, despite promising change before the election, he said.
He was addressing a Haravgi report which said that the deputy culture minister had appointed as an advisor, a woman who was recently handed a suspended prison sentence in relation to a case of forged concert tickets.
Damianou stressed that it is not the position of AKEL that people who have been convicted and have re-entered society must remain convicted for life.
“The bottom line is that those who are appointed to a position and paid from public funds, should perform duties and responsibilities consistent with the necessary qualifications,” he said, adding that the current situation with appointments normalises nepotism, bribery, and a lack of transparency.
“Groomsmen, friends and close friends (of the president) are already being appointed,” he said, illustrating what he called a situation that is not consistent with the principles of good administration.
The AKEL deputy said there should already be legislation governing the qualifications and criteria for the appointment of advisors to the president, ministers and deputy ministers, pointing out that the Anastasiades presidency spent a little over one million euros on their appointments.
He also reminded that his party has raised the issue with the House ethics committee, asking for a list of names to be published, of people employed by the government as advisors.

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