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MPs ‘need more time’ to decide on limo entitlement

By Staff Reporter

Parliament on Thursday again kicked the can down the road on the limos law, with legislators saying they needed more time to look into the details of who is entitled to the perk and for how long.

By a majority vote, the plenum pushed through a legislative proposal pushing back the entry into force of the accompanying regulations to the law from October 3 to November 7.

The bill, which was fast-tracked to the floor of the House, passed with 40 votes for, and one against (from Greens MP George Perdikis). The legislative proposal was tabled jointly by DIKO, DISY, AKEL and the Citizens Alliance.

Back in January, parliament had enacted a generic law stipulating that it would not take effect until July 1, ostensibly to give the government time to flesh out the accompanying regulations, which must also pass parliamentary muster.

On June 12 the government handed to parliament the regulations, but these were not to the liking of the majority of MPs.

Then, just days before the July 1 deadline, parties rushed through a legislative proposal suspending the law’s entry into force until October 3.

The latest list of officials entitled to personal, round-the-clock use of limos includes the President of the Republic, the House Speaker, the President of the Supreme Court, the Attorney-general and deputy Attorney-general, the auditor-general, former presidents, ministers, the government spokesman, the undersecretary to the president, as well as the First Lady.

Also included are the chief of police, the commander of the National Guard, as well as the head of the intelligence service.

For other officials currently using state-provided limos, it was decided that they keep their vehicles on a personal basis until their term is over, but no later than January 1, 2016.

Under the current regulations, by that date officials would have to surrender their limos. But some of them would get to keep using them for state business.

MPs say the accompanying regulations are vague, in that they do not specify which officials this applies to, the criteria, and who decides once the interim period is over (January 1, 2016) who gets to keep their limo for state business.

Meanwhile about 100 officials –including mayors and bosses of semi-governmental organisations – get to keep being chauffeured around.

 

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