Cyprus Mail

Disy PR operator in hot water over Irini Charalambidou cleavage comment

A PR operator for the ruling Disy party is facing the boot after posting on social media a snarky comment about Akel MP Irini Charalambidou.

Panayiotis Salaforis, a communications officer for Disy, uploaded to his Facebook page an image of Charalambidou while she was making statements in her capacity as spokeswoman for presidential candidate Stavros Malas.

Salaforis’ caption read: “That’s how you deliver a statement: leopard-print cardigan, cleavage, slanted pose.”

The Facebook post was later deleted, but not before an offended Charalambidou spotted it, grabbed a screenshot and reproduced it on her Twitter feed.

“Dear Averof,” she wrote, addressing Disy leader Averof Neophytou, “I am certain that this obscenity and sexism do not represent you.

“I had hoped your communications people could engage me with arguments and not in this dismal way. Some lines should not be crossed. But judging from the goings-on in parliament, there is a tradition in such behaviour.”

It’s understood the latter comment alluded to an incident in parliament in June 2015, when Charalambidou claimed a Disy MP had tried to take an up-skirt photo of her following an argument.

In a statement later on Thursday, Disy said it condemned “in the strongest possible way the indecent and unacceptable publication…at the expense of Ms Irini Charalambidou.

“We express grief and outrage. Such actions and mentalities are completely alien to the mores of our party.”

The statement ended: “With this kind of behaviour, the staff member in question cannot have any relationship with the party, and the Democratic Rally shall take all necessary steps.”

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