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DISY MPs not suitable as running mates, says former university rector

Former university rector Stavros Zenios

Former rector of the University of Cyprus Stavros Zenios, said on Wednesday he has rejected DISY’s offer to run in May’s parliamentary elections because he doesn’t want to be on the same ticket as candidates who do not pay their speeding fines, hurl insults at their female colleagues or who advertise online their illegal culinary preferences.
In a letter titled “Not this time”, Zenios, who is a professor of finance, said that even though he had accepted to be a DISY MEP candidate in the 2014 Euro-elections, this time he decided not to run.
He was referring to DISY MPs Andreas Themistocleous, Andreas Kyprianou and Evgenios Hamboullas. Themistocleous is to appear before court later in the month for repeated traffic violations, Kyprianou made headlines last year after he reportedly tried to take an up-skirt photo of AKEL MP Irene Charalambidou. Hamboullas too had his 15 minutes in the spotlight after posting on his Facebook account in December a controversial photo of him at a dinner table with a platter of songbirds whose hunting and consumption are banned.
“I can not be on the same ballot with candidates who do not pay their fines, that insult their female colleague or advertise on social networks their illegal gastronomic preferences,” Zenios said. Zenios added that he is interested in politics but not as a career path.
“I have an internationally successful career, a happy family and two small children who still need me, a few good friends,” Zenios said in his letter.
He added he is interested in politics if “I can add value to my country’s political life through my knowledge and international experience”.
Zenios said he thanked the head of DISY Averof Neophytou for the proposal and that he told him he is always ready to help with issues dealing with the economy, the banking system and Europe.
“But […] neither my knowledge on economy and banking, nor my European experience will be particularly utilised in the legislative body. My logic says no. I’m also asked to give a partisan battle without being a party member, and my conscience does not allow it,” the letter said.
Zenios said that he chooses to remain active but independent, as “this is a political act. Our country needs independent voices fighting for the common good. I shall continue to do this without any party commitments.”

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