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Edek leadership candidate lashes out at critics

varnava
Giorgos Varnava (left) submitted his candidacy on Monday

People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones, Giorgos Varnava said on Monday in response to an objection to his candidature for Edek’s presidency by former financial director Giorgos Koutoukis.

A former MP, Varnava formally announced he will be running against incumbent Marinos Sizopoulos for the party’s presidency in the October 24 party conference. Sizopoulos also officially put forward his candidature on Monday.

The election will take place on October 30.

Varnava pledged to work hard to reunite the party by promoting younger members, bringing back those that left and striving towards unity and transparency.

He said that “the tough times Cyprus is going through call for a stronger Edek,” pledging to regain public support, which has dwindled in recent years, falling from 8.93 per cent in the 2011 House elections to 6.72 per cent in 2021 despite an alliance with the Citizens Alliance.

In a statement later in the day, Varnava revealed that one of the two objections to him standing reported by the party came from its former financial director Koutoukis.

“I should consider it an honour that Marinos Sizopoulos’ closest partner has objected to my candidature,” Varnava said, adding that this means his statements about transparency have had an effect.

“It seems to have created trouble and panic for some who are trying in every dishonest way to prevent even my candidacy.”

This was a dig towards both Sizopoulos and Koutoukis, both of whom came under scrutiny this summer after rumours suggested they were involved in dodgy financial practices.

Politis had reported that a company Sizopoulos was tied to had a loan written off, while Koutoukis ended up resigning from his position as Edek’s financial director after it was revealed he had issued three cheques from the party’s chequebook to take care of personal business.

Koutoukis reportedly cited three reasons for his objection, the first being Varnava’s alleged failure to make financial contributions to the party when he was an MP – which the latter denied in his own statement.

Koutoukis’ other two claims, concerning a property deal and a company Varnava was involved with, were also refuted by Varnava, who ended the statement by suggesting Koutoukis should “mind his own business, because those who live in cracked glass houses shouldn’t throw stones”.

 

 

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