By Constantinos Psillides
Three-time EDEK MP Giorgos Varnava is faced with the possibility of being barred from running for re-election, as the party is on the verge of approving a change in statute, limiting terms of public office.
Speaking on a morning news show on private Sigma TV on Wednesday, Varnava confirmed that a proposal had been tabled and it will be put to the vote at the party general assembly on June 14.
According to Varnava, the proposal provides that party officials can only serve a total of three terms in one or more public positions.
But they can only serve two terms as MPs.
For example, an EDEK official can serve two terms as MP and one as councillor.
“If the proposal passes I won’t even be allowed to run for municipal councillor,” said Varnava, currently in his third term as party MP.
Varnava said the idea for a cap on terms was first introduced in 2013 but the original proposal was different.
“We agreed then that any party official would be allowed to hold public office for a total of 20 years. MPs would be allowed to have three terms and mayors two terms. We also decided that those changes would be put in effect in 2021. We said that we would look further into the matter but now some people decided to throw everything out of the window and come up with a different proposal,” he said.
The proposal was presented to the party’s political bureau during their last session.
Varnava was first elected as an MP for Famagusta in 2001. He was re-elected in 2006 and 2011. In the latest elections Varnava got 3,321 votes, five times more than the second party candidate in the district.
Asked whether he believes that he was being targeted, the EDEK MP danced around the question. “If this proposal passes then I won’t be allowed to run for any office. From then on, this is not a personal matter. I have learned in life to be proud and never beg. It appears that some people believe that we should go home.”
Varnava went up against the party’s current leader Marinos Sizopoulos in March, two weeks after former boss Yiannakis Omirou resigned. Sizopoulos won with 59.8 per cent of the vote.