They should ALL resign in Paphos
E DII TO RII A L
As Paphos gets ready to elect a new mayor on January 11, the town’s folk are exhibiting a twisted sense of democracy and transparency. The question on everybody’s mind that no citizen or political party dares ask openly – for fear of finding skeletons in their own closet – is, if the ex-Mayor and the head of the sewerage board were crooks, as alleged in court documents, did nobody else get a whiff of the stink going around? And if they did, why didn’t they do anything about it?
Initially, there were only three suspects, and a fourth one was added last week. By the time the investigation gets into full swing, it is not impossible that many more names will come out into the fore from among city hall’s pyramid of power, as well as elected officials and municipal councilors, from all parties.
We are sure that nowhere in the minutes of municipal meetings of the past decade or so is there any mention of a councilor raising suspicion about corruption, without necessarily naming the chief suspect, the former Mayor himself. This, in effect, points to a wide-reaching cover up, each with his own little agenda or bone to pick. This is why the ex-Mayor has decided to spill the beans and take everybody down with him, including officials from his own DIKO party, of whom he had expected some support in return for recent loyalties, but was left hanging out to dry.
The ruling DISY party has indirectly acknowledged its own tolerance of the goings on in Paphos by desperately trying to avoid an election defeat by securing a common candidate of public stature. The fact that no one has been named so far suggests that there aren’t that many people left who do not have their hands in the cookie jar. All the others are footing their own candidates, but no one has suggested that all municipal councilors resign as well, at least to show that they have a sense of responsibility and a shred of sympathy towards ordinary citizens who are sick of the corrupt establishment.
But the biggest of all blames goes to the citizens of Paphos themselves, many of whom have been all too happy to be photographed with Savvas Vergas receiving a cheque or a prize, or even privileged seating at a concert or the Paphos Opera. No one ever likes to rock the boat.
Do the people of Paphos honestly believe that by electing just a new mayor, everything will be resolved? That by sweeping all the town’s ills under the carpet, they will get a fully functioning sewerage network up and running within 24 hours of the elections?
If the municipal councilors do not have the decency to resign and try to get re-elected, then the citizens have an equal responsibility to boot them out of office. Otherwise, it shows that they are all up their necks in the filth that has blemished the town.