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Ex-MP challenges Edek after party says money probe closed

EDEK leaderMarinos Sizopoulos

No money was lost, nor was there any attempt to defraud the party and the issue is therefore closed, Edek said on Monday, citing the findings of an investigation into the use of party cheques by its financial director, only to be challenged by a former MP contesting the party presidency.

The row centres on revelations that the financial director had deposited party cheques in his personal account in what was later explained as an error during the busy campaign period. The funds were reimbursed, Edek set up a committee to investigate while Yiorgos Varnavas, who is challenging incumbent Marinos Sizopoulos for the party presidency, branded it as indicative of Sizopoulos’ high-handed management.

In an announcement on Monday, Edek said its political office had met and discussed the report from the committee which had had looked into the issue.

“On the basis of the conclusions of the committee, the political office confirmed that there was no financial loss for the party nor any attempt to defraud. Therefore, the issue is considered closed,” it said.

The party’s collective organs will be asked to carry out a general study to potentially adopt additional procedures to further reinforce financial transparency in the party, it added.

The statement prompted an immediate denial from Varnavas who challenged Edek’s official version of the meeting’s conclusions. The former MP said he had attended the meeting as an observer where the general consensus was that the financial director should leave his post. The party president proposed he suggest to the official he resign, and should he fail to do so, then he should be sacked. Ten people voted in favour of this proposal.

A second alternative, that the official be sacked immediately, and a complaint filed with police, received seven votes.

“Therefore, either in one or the other way, when you ask for the financial director to resign on his own or for the political office to sack him, this means he is guilty, otherwise he would not be asked,” Varnavas said.

So how can Edek’s announcement completely distort the decision of the political office, he queried.

“It appears that the president once again does not respect the decisions of the collective organs of the movement, distorts the decisions themselves and despite the suggestions even of the movement’s respected legal counsel, that an attempt to cover up the issue means complicity, appears to be trying to cover up the incident which creates many more questions than before.”

 

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