CYPRUS: Imminent cabinet reshuffle is on the cards

With Harris Georgiades stepping down from his post as Finance Minister, a broader reshuffle of the cabinet is expected to take place with several changes in key ministries.

It is rumoured, incumbent Interior Minister Constantinos Petrides is set to move to the high-profile Finance Ministry.

Recent reports suggest President Nicos Anastasiades will introduce new faces in at least four posts.

The reshuffle is expected to take place after Georgiades steps down, sometime after the approval of the 2020 budget, and when Anastasiades’ returns from Berlin where he is to participate in a trilateral meeting with Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci and UN chief Antonio Guterres on 25 November.

It is understood Anastasiades has made his mind up about two posts, the Finance Minister and the Interior Minister.

Constantinos Petrides is set to replace Georgiades as Finance Minister, while DISY MP Nicos Nouris is said to be on his way to the Interior Ministry.

Petrides who enjoys the trust of Anastasiades has served as his undersecretary during the first four years of his administration.

He will be leaving the Ministry after presiding over the reform project of local government.

Nouris is experienced in matters of local government as he was a member of Nicosia Municipal council, he has also served as vice-mayor.

Despite Anastasiades’ commitment to increase female representation in the cabinet, this is not something that appears likely to happen in the upcoming reshuffle as just one woman is expected to join the cabinet.

And that is to replace the Minister of Transport, Communications and Works, Vasiliki Anastassiadou who is said to be considering stepping down.

Although the replacement of Anastassiadou should not be taken for granted, several names have been leaked so far such as lawyer Emily Yiolitis.

The life partner of journalist and TV presenter Chrysanthos Tsouroulis was appointed as chair of the EAC but resigned after a short tenure in July, over a conflict of interest.

Anastasiades also appears to be considering replacing Education Minister Costas Chambiaouri as the incumbent has made a few enemies after head-on collisions with teachers’ unions.

DISY MP Nicos Tornaritis seems to be high on Anastasiades’ list of replacement candidates, as he is familiar with issues facing the education system due to his long-term presence on the House Education Committee.

Tornaritis maintains excellent relations with the teachers’ unions and is considered to be capable of managing dialogue on critical issues.

Tornaritis’ move to the Education Ministry is also favoured by the leadership of his party.

Energy Minister George Lakkotrypis is said to be stepping down sometime in the new year, so more changes are on the cards.

However, the switch in the leadership of the Energy Ministry is not expected to take place in the upcoming reshuffle. Lakkotrypis was appointed Energy Minister when Anastasiades came to power in March 2013.

The government is soon to create a Deputy Ministry of Innovation, with the name of Chief Scientist Kyriacos Kokkinos being touted.

Source: The Financial Mirror