President Nicos Anastasiades told his ministers to heed the interventions of the new ombudswoman, Maria Stylianou-Lottides, who officially took office on Thursday during a ceremony at the presidential palace.
Lottides, a state attorney, replaces Eliza Savvidou whose term ended last month.
The president said that he sees in Lottides an associate who “will be the most sensitive recipient of the peoples’ fair demands” and who will support the values the public administration ought to serve.
He added that he is looking forward to her cooperation with all ministers, while her instructions and recommendations will always be part of the directives, which “should be taken into account by those exercising executive power, particularly when dealing with issues of fairness and restoration of legality and the sense of justice”.
“Our aim is, by taking into consideration your own observations, to continuously expand the legislative framework that will support citizens’ rights,” the president said.
He added that he was certain the new ombudswoman would be impartial and faithful to the principles of the law, which she had served for years as a state attorney.
Anastasiades said the decision for Lottides’ appointment was taken due to her knowledge, experience, but mainly her personality, her ethos, and her sensitivity to the rights and obligations of citizens towards the state and the state towards its citizens.
The institution of the ombudsperson, he said, has contributed to the reinforcement and improvement of the country’s democratic structures.
Lottides reassured the president that that she will do her best to succeed in her task.
The role of the ombudsperson, she said, was not limited to exercising control over public administration but also assisted other institutions, such as the legislature, by bringing to light the dictates of society and social developments.
Her appointment was surrounded by controversy due to the fact that she is married to one of the owners of Kathimerini newspaper.
It was narrowly approved by parliament but the wider belief was that it was a move by Anastasiades to secure support from Kathimerini ahead of next year’s presidential elections.
There were also voices saying that she was not the right person for the job.