Cyprus Mail

House tinkers with civil partnership bill ahead of vote (Updated)

By George Psyllides

PARLIAMENT on Wednesday decided to rename the bill on civil partnerships to better reflect its scope.

Initially named cohabitation agreement, the law has been renamed to civil cohabitation to reflect the fact that it is not an agreement whose terms were decided by the partners, but a state of affairs regulated by law.

The change was announced by DISY MP Sotiris Sampson, chairman of the House legal affairs committee, following a meeting of a parliamentary sub-committee, set up to expedite discussion of the bill so that it can be put to the vote next Thursday, July 9.

The decision was taken during a joint meeting of the legal affairs and interior committees in the presence of DISY leader Averof Neophytou.

Following the recommendation of European Party leader Demetris Syllouris, MPs have been given 24 hours to provide the technical committee with their positions. By using a technical committee to iron out the remaining issues, parliament hopes to avoid continued political grandstanding in the committee by those MPs opposed to the bill, which have resulted in numerous delays.

From there, the joint parliamentary committees will meet again to make the final adjustments before tabling it to the plenum, the Cyprus News Agency reported.

On Tuesday, Accept-LGBT Cyprus accused a number of MPs of trying to drag out parliamentary discussions on the bill for as long as possible in order to delay putting it to the vote.

The organisation said it was obvious from committee sessions last week that certain members of the House “in their attempt to cause delays and turmoil”, interrupted proceedings by bringing to the table issues that had already been discussed and answered.

It said the government had adopted a clear line in favour of regulating the relations of couples irrespective of sex, as defined by the ministry of interior in the proposed bill.

Sampson said the sub-committee has already gone through a lot of articles. The sub-committee is also scheduled to meet on Thursday.




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