Cypriot President Nikos Christodoulides axed his health, justice, defence and agriculture ministers on Monday in a widely expected reshuffle almost a year into his term.

The key posts of foreign affairs, finance, energy and interior were unchanged.

Christodoulides, who came to power as an independent with the backing of centrist parties, faced criticism for announcing plans to reshuffle his cabinet in a newspaper interview on Dec. 31, saying he intended to replace ministers within an 18-month timeframe.

But he stopped short of saying when, triggering speculation over who would be in the firing line and the resignation of a junior minister on Jan. 5.

The justice, health and agriculture ministers were expected to be sacked following race riots last year, a dispute between the health minister and a subordinate that played out on social media, and a controversy over roadworks in an ecologically-sensitive peninsula in northwest Cyprus that ensnared the agriculture minister.

The new ministers will be sworn in on Jan. 10, government spokesman Konstantinos Letymbiotis said in a statement.

Leave a Reply