IT WAS shocking to hear of that DISY deputy Andreas Kyprianou had tried to take a photograph up the skirt of AKEL deputy Irini Charalambidou on the grounds that she was sitting ‘indecently’. It would be a gross understatement to describe this act as ungentlemanly because it was much worse than that – it was loutish and aggressively nasty behaviour that nobody would have expected in, of all places, the legislature.
Such appalling behaviour may have been understandable if the perpetrator was a naughty teenager in a school classroom, but displayed by a 53-year-old man who is an elected representative of the people it is completely unacceptable. Even worse was the attempt of Kyprianou to justify his disgraceful behaviour – Charalambidou, he claimed, was “sitting in an indecent way” and he threatened to take a picture of her in order to expose her.
Will sexist DISY deputies now dictate the proper way for females to sit and report them to the press when they do not meet the standards set? And with what moral authority does a law-breaking deputy decide what constitutes an ‘indecent’ way for women to sit. We should not forget that the cause of the row was Charalambidou’s decision to take a photograph of Kyprianou lighting up a cigarette in a legislature committee room, which is a violation of the law. A law-breaking lawmaker has a nerve to take the moral high ground, but Kyprianou could not think of any other way to justify his blatant bullying.
He even reported Charalambidou to the police for her “illegal, improper, insulting and abusive behaviour” towards him. The AKEL deputy herself reported Kyprianou to the police for indecent assault, although she should also have reported him for smoking in a public place, which the DISY deputy admitted to doing. Police are investigating both complaints, although the issue is not only legal.
It is also ethical, and it was incredible that none of the parties, which release statements about the most trivial issues, kept quiet about Kyprianou’s intimidation and bullying of a colleague. Three female deputies, including a member of DISY, yesterday, censured Kyprianou for his offensive behaviour, but no male deputy was moved to take a stand. Was it perhaps because they approved of his sexist behaviour?
This was the second time in the last few weeks that Charalambidou was the target of abuse by a DISY deputy. Last month Andreas Themistocleous wrote a deeply offensive and vulgar comment on his Facebook page aimed at her. We can only guess that some male deputies feel threatened by a female colleague that speaks her mind and stands up to them. But this is no excuse for the failure of our otherwise principled parties to condemn the aggressive and sexist behaviour of the DISY deputy.