FORMER President Demetris Christofias has decided not to take advantage of his constitutional right to a state-owned luxury car and driver.
Sources confirmed the former president would hand back the keys which belong to the car he had recently been using, which is a back-up vehicle for the president’s escort. He was given special dispensation to use the car as he was waiting for his own car to be delivered.
The House Finance Committee on Monday completed their discussion on a bill to curb politicians and state officials’ privileges by agreeing that the number of officials eligible for state cars should be slashed dramatically.
The proposal was sent to legal services and is due to be voted on in October when parliament re-opens, committee chairman Nicolas Papadopoulos said.
The president, House president, ministers, the government spokesperson, undersecretary to the president, head of the Supreme Court, the attorney-general and former presidents and house presidents will have the right to a state car and driver with fuel and maintenance allowance.
This is a huge reduction from the number of vehicles previously allocated to state, semi-government and local authorities’ officials.
Despite being eligible under this new legislation if it is passed in October, the former president who has come under criticism from almost every quarter relating to his handling of the financial crisis and the Mari tragedy, has in the end decided not to take advantage of the privilege.