Rotsas retracts bribery allegations after Anastassiades warning

By George Psyllides

DEFEATED DISY candidate Christos Rotsas yesterday retracted allegations that other candidates from the party had been elected on Sunday because they had bought votes.

Rotsas’ climb down came after party chief Nicos Anastassiades threatened him with expulsion if he could not substantiate his charges.

On Tuesday, Rotsas told CyBC radio that it was a well-known fact that there had been promises of financial help during the election campaign.

He added: “Candidates gave cash and promised more if they were voted in.”

But yesterday, and after a stern warning from Anastassiades that he could find himself out of DISY if he failed to prove his allegations, Rotsas changed his tune, saying he was only talking about rumours he had heard during the election campaign.

He said: “What I said was not based on evidence or facts that I had in my hands.

“I just repeated rumours and information floating around before Sunday’s elections.”

Rotsas said he only made the comments to prevent such things from happening again.

The former deputy refused to name names, saying he would talk to Attorney- general alecos Markides about the issue.

Newly-elected DISY deputy Nicos Tornaritis said yesterday the rumour mills had been working full time during the campaign and that dirt was poured over all candidates.

Tornaritis, who is a lawyer, told CYBC: “I also heard all this, but rumours are not evidence.”

“If there is any evidence then it should be immediately submitted to the Attorney-general and those responsible should be made to pay,” he added.

Tornaritis told the Cyprus Mail yesterday: “Rotsas called me and apologised, saying that it was not me he was talking about.”

The DISY deputy said he was fed up with all the rumours and that his only concern now that the elections were over was to look ahead to the future.

“I’m concerned only with what can be done for the people who are most in need.

“I’m not going to concern myself with petty politics.”

Earlier yesterday, Anastassiades said the charges levelled by Rotsas were very serious and that he would commend him if he submitted evidence substantiating his allegations.

But he added: “If it was done due to the bitterness of not being elected then it is unacceptable because it does not help and I’m not going to tolerate such behaviour.”

“In order to learn how to win they first have to learn how to lose,” Anastassiades said.

DISY Spokesman Tasos Mitsopoulos told reporters yesterday that Rotsas had called Anastassiades and apologised for the comments he had made in public.

Rotsas had said that it was not his intention to hurt the party or any particular official, Mitsopoulos said.