By George Psyllides
THE previous administration had appointed a Central Bank (CBC) board member just before a presidential runoff vote, without making any announcements, it has emerged.
Lambros Kaikitis’ appointment on February 20 came as a surprise to most, with some now disputing its lawfulness.
No announcement had been made, and the appointment was only published in the Government Gazette a month later, on March 22, 2013.
According to the Gazette, the finance minister had recommended Kaikitis after consulting with the CBC governor.
Kaikitis was replacing a member who had resigned previously.
Former finance minister Vassos Shiarly said he did not know anything about the appointment, neither did he take part in the cabinet meetings on February 20 and 22.
During those meetings, Shiarly had been replaced by the former communications minister Efthymios Flourentzos who told Sigmalive news portal that he could not remember tabling such a proposal.
The CBC said it had been informed of the appointment from the Gazette.
CBC spokeswoman Aliki Stylianou said the regulator did not announce the appointment because it still needed a letter from the finance ministry to complete the procedure.
The new administration had been informed of the matter and “we expect a decision from the finance ministry on the next steps,” Stylianou said.
The issue emerged after CBC Governor Panicos Demetriades invited the three newly-appointed members of the board to lunch, which was also attended by Kaikitis.
Ruling DISY MP Prodromos Prodromou demanded that the matter was investigated.
Prodromou said Kaikitis had been hastily appointed under unknown circumstances and opaque procedures.
“Apart from surprise and concern, it also raises a series of questions,” he said in a written statement.
Prodromou questioned whether there had indeed been a cabinet decision and if such a decision was lawful.
Did Kaikitis have the qualifications and who did the evaluation when the former finance minister said he did not know anything, the DISY MP asked.
Socialists EDEK said the manner of the appointment raised huge questions.
“Despite having the right to carry out the appointment, it is obvious that the previous government kept its action secret, knowing there would be a reaction,” EDEK said.