Paphos Mayor Phedonas Phedonos publically called on outgoing AKEL MP Aristos Damianou and other public figures to answer his questions relating to their alleged abuse of power and conflict of interest.
In a written statement, the mayor said it was time public dialogue had substance and was not merely evasive.
His first wanted a clear answer as to whether or not Damianou and his law firm had represented Logicom – a Cyprus-based software provider where the deputy’s father-in-law works, according to Phedonos – before the Tender Review Board.
Phedonos claimed after Logicom did not win the tender managing the Cyprus Sports Organisation (KOA) fan card, it was appealed and represented by Damianou’s law firm at the Tenders Review Board.
A few days later, the deputy tabled the issue of how the contract was awarded at the House Watchdog Committee.
In Saturday’s statement, Phedonas spared no detail asking if the Logicom case with file number 20/2015 was represented or not by Damianou’s firm, and if the deputy himself had appeared before the Tender Review Board on July 16, 2015.
“Secondly, is Mr. Kostas Kalopsidiotis his [Damianou’s] wife’s father, and does he have the position of senior tender manager for Logicom?” the announcement said.
The tender Logicom lost would have brought in more than €14 million over the next eight years while KOA had approximately €5m in funds for the system, Phedonas said.
Another company with a cheaper offer won the bid however on March 3 this year. Logicom appealed it with case number 13/2016 challenging the soundness of the decision.
“Did MP Mr Aristos Damianou table the matter, specifically on March 8, 2016 to the House Watchdog Committee with file number 23.04.033.049-2016 under the subject ‘issues which arise from the recent tender award for the fan card’?”
Additionally, the mayor claimed representatives from the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce (KEVE) and the Cyprus Employers & Industrialists Federation (OEB) went to visit the Treasurer on March 23.
“Were three of the six people from KEVE employees and associates at Logicom and specifically Messrs. Kostas Kalopsidiotis, Alexandros Gavrilides [a lawyer in Damianou’s firm appealing the tender] and Dimos Anastasiou?”
“In this meeting, did the Logicom employees raise serious objections over the bill on public contracts and specifically for creating a central body for blacklisting?”
Phedonas then sought to ask whether Damianou had or not on April 13 issued a statement saying he was not in favour of the bill on public contracts which contained a provision that contractors who paid bribes would be blacklisted. The bill was ultimately passed by the plenum on Thursday.
On Wednesday, Damianou had issued a statement on behalf of AKEL, saying his party would vote against the government’s blacklisting bill because the document was delivered too late to review.
Following Phedonos’ public remarks on Thursday about the alleged conflict of interest with Logicom though the mayor hand not named the specific company at the time, Damianou issued a harsh reaction.
“Over the last few weeks, I have had the chance to be informed about the gutter to which Mr Phedonos wants to reduce our public discourse and political ethics to,” the AKEL MP said.
“I have no intention of joining him in the gutter, but my political history and my honesty, for which even political adversaries have acknowledged, is my response to Mr Phedonos.”
Damianou warned that he would be pressing slander charges against the Paphos mayor.