In response to my article in Kathimerini, dated February 2, 2024, with the title “Judge Aresti, the State and the semi-governmental organisations”, in which I commented on views he had expressed in an interview on January 28, 2024, Mr. Aresti overlooked my key questions and cited instead article 4 of the law on the appointment of the boards of semi-state organisations. He says that in article 4 of the law we can find the answer to the question “which provision in the Law and the Constitution supports the view that the President of the Republic has the power to appoint in the governing boards of Semi-State Organizations persons who can promote his program and in general the policies of the executive power”.

Of course, he cites article 4, without assisting our effort to identify the law provision which attributes specific rights to the President, and the provision according to which “the President has the right to ask the dismissal of the Board of Directors”, as Mr. Aresti had claimed in his article. Similarly, he does not help us to locate among the appointment criteria the condition “to implement the (electoral) program of the President”.

While, in the interview and in his answer above, he talked about a “right under the Law and the Constitution”, he refers to an article of the Law, but says nothing about a provision in the Constitution. The question remains: Where does the Constitution mention the right of the President to request the dismissal and to choose the members of the governing boards of the semi-governmental organisations among those who “will support its election program”?

Related to the above is the question, how is the view that implies that non-supporters of the President are not able to serve the public interest as members of the governing boards of semi-governmental organisations consistent with principles of meritocracy?

I will not expand further, by repeating the analysis I made in my article on February 2, 2024. I will simply recall the questions that Mr. Aresti did not answer, and which touch on the essence, that is, the existence and role of semi-governmental organisations. They are the following:

On what grounds does he found the position that semi-governmental organisations or public law entities are extensions of the executive branch? How does he confuse the concepts of ‘state’ and ‘executive power’? How is this consistent with the positions and recommendations of international organizations (EU, IMF, OSCE), which suggest the privatization of some organisations, while, at the same time, they consider the suspension of the Boards of Directors by a newly elected government as incompatible with the rule of law?

What supports his claim that only from now on citizens who wish to be appointed do not need to ask for help by political parties? Isn’t since 2013 that the law provides that anyone who wishes to be appointed can express her/his interest to the line minister, without reference to parties?

With regard to the role attributed to political parties by law from 1988 to 2013 (abusively, to my view), why did Mr. Arestis not mention anything about how it arose, as an offshoot of DIKOcracy, the exclusive exercise of power by the Democratic Party – DIKO? Why does he prefer attacking only AKEL and DISY, interpreting their criticism with the words “they attack the President”?

Last point, in my article, there was also question about Mr. Aresti’s conflict of interest:

How is it possible that the rapporteur for the establishment and the framework of the Advisory Council accepts his appointment as its chairman, ignoring the conflict of interest? How is it possible?

Every citizen expects answers to all the questions above, as part of accountability with due respect for everyone, away of expressions such as “a response to an article by some Mr. Christophorou”. Otherwise, views and approaches may possibly harm the author of the article and his reputation.

From me, this chapter should be considered closed.

* Published in Kathimerini, 12 February 2024