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12° Nicosia,
23 September, 2021
 
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Yiolitis walks away with ‘clear conscience’

Cypriot justice minister resigns over ‘weakest link’ rumors, feels ‘deeply insulted’ in phone call with president

Newsroom

Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades had no further comment but to thank outgoing Justice Minister Emily Yiolitis, who resigned Thursday following a barrage of bad publicity implicating her as the “weakest link” in the administration ahead of an upcoming Cabinet reshuffle.

Yiolitis, a Limassol-based high-powered corporate lawyer by profession, wrote her resignation letter to the President to follow up on a phone call when she sought clarification from her boss over rumors, referring to growing speculation about her being replaced in an upcoming Cabinet reshuffle.

"To my great surprise you relayed to me that my presence in the Cabinet badly affects your image and that of the administration,” Yiolitis wrote, referring to her relationship with Anastasiades’ close family as well as various reports and gossip in the media.

Last few weeks had become ‘unproductive’ and ‘cumbersome’ over media publications about reassignments of colleagues and rumors that she was the weakest link in the administration

But Yiolitis, who listed a number of achievements during her brief tenure, submitted to the President that she was indeed the one who paid a heavy price for assuming the position, adding that her work at the Justice Ministry over the last few weeks had become “unproductive” and “cumbersome” over a series of media publications regarding reassignments of colleagues and rumors that she was the weakest link in the administration.

“Dear President, I consider the lack of acknowledgment of my work during the few months at the ministry to be deeply insulting, especially the view that ‘I am badly affecting your image.” This is also to inform you that I do not wish to take part in any consultation rounds over a possible reassignment,” Yiolitis wrote.

The outgoing minister also pointed out that she came into politics with her hands clean and much to offer, noting that her financial status was publicly declared to steer clear of any insinuations of favoritism or corruption.

“So it was I, rather, who paid a heavy price for agreeing to take part in a government that has not made a good impression on society, as you well know, on issues of corruption and transparency,” Yiolitis said.

The outgoing minister also reminded Anastasiades that her tenure took a toll on her health but added she was “leaving with a clear conscience.”

Anastasiades accepted the resignation and told reporters he wanted to thank Yiolitis for the work she had carried out during her tenure as minister.

“No further comment,” the president added.

Defence Minister Charalambos Petrides has reportedly assumed double duties, following Yiolitis’ resignation, as local media said he was in charge of the justice ministry until a new Cabinet is formed sometime next week.

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