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Pilides appointed energy minister, Yiolitis new justice minister (Updated)

Natsasa Pilides

President Nicos Anastasiades on Wednesday appointed lawyer Emily Yiolitis as the new justice minister and gave the energy portfolio to current shipping deputy minister Natasa Pilides.

The appointments mean there are now three women in the cabinet including Labour Minister Zeta Emilianidou.

Aglandjia Mayor Charalambos Petrides was appointed defence minister, while shipping expert Vasilis Demetriades took the shipping portfolio.

Yiolitis, who served briefly as head of the board of state electricity company EAC before resigning due to conflict of interest, replaces Giorgos Savvides who was appointed attorney-general.

Pilides is taking the important energy post, replacing Giorgos Lakkotrypis who has stepped down after more than seven years in office.

Petrides will replace Savvas Angelides who was appointed deputy attorney-general. Shipping expert Vasilis Demetrides will be taking the shipping portfolio.

The date for new ministers’ confirmation ceremony will be announced later.

Unlike them, Savvides and Angelides are scheduled to take over on July 10, which could pose a problem as incumbent Costas Clerides said he would retire on August 1.

Government spokesman Kyriacos Koushos said Clerides had decided not to take his accumulated leave because there was no deputy attorney-general to replace him if he went on holiday until his retirement.

“I think that reason no longer exists,” the spokesman said.

Koushos added that it was up to Clerides to serve his leave and his decision was respected.

“At the same time, I can confirm that based on the law, Mr Clerides can depart on July 31 when he reaches the age of 68,” the spokesman said.

Earlier, Clerides issued a statement to explain – absence of a deputy — why he was retiring on August 1, after media reports suggesting he was trying to extend his term in a bid to cash in his leave.

The attorney-general said he informed the finance ministry and the treasury of the issue who agreed. The treasury informed him that under the circumstances he should retire on the first day of the month following the month he reached 68.

Clerides said he informed the president of the issue on Monday.

Suggestions that the attorney-general was trying to get an extension for financial gain were the malicious comments of the well-known journalistic instruments and other circles, he added.

 

Emily Yiolitis has been appointed as the new justice minister

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