TRANSPARENCY Cyprus, a chapter of Transparency International, has invited Cypriot MPs to voluntarily submit a declaration of their financial interests in line with the code of ethics of the European Parliament.
The invitation came in the wake of a big debate over what constitutes incompatible offices and conflict of interest after it emerged that the Central Governor’s daughter was employed at her former husband’s law firm, which represents ex-Laiki Bank’s strongman Andreas Vgenopoulos, indicating a possible conflict of interest.
There was also the case of President Nicos Anastasiades’ former law office handling Ryanair briefly as the low-cost airline made a bid to acquire state-controlled carrier Cyprus Airways.
These are but a couple of recent examples. Politicians, especially lawyers, often continue to exercise their profession after being elected or appointed to a public office.
The organisation said the statement should include the MPs’ professional activities outside parliament three years prior to their election, their participation in any company boards or other organisations.
They must also declare any other revenues from other activities they engage in, participation in companies and other legal entities or other extracurricular pursuits – including writing, teaching, or consulting, if the fee exceeds €5,000 a year.
MPs must also state their participation in a company if it has any effect on public policy or if it gives the lawmaker significant influence of the organisation’s business.
Personnel or material equipment afforded to the MP by third parties must also be declared.
The organisation said the information must be included in a form prepared by them and submitted by January 2015. The forms will be published on the organisation’s website before February 10.