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Spouses to be included in asset statements

Chairman of the House Legal Affairs Committee Sotiris Sampson

The spouses of state officials and politically exposed persons will be included in a bill mandating the submission of asset and source of funds statements, it emerged on Wednesday.

The bill was discussed by the House Legal Affairs Committee whose chairman said the only outstanding issues now were how to handle the judiciary, the army and the police.

Sotiris Sampson said MPs have agreed to include the spouses of the people affected as part of their statement of assets and not separately.

Sampson said he expected all matters to be settled next week, paving the way for the bill’s approval before the dissolution of parliament ahead of May’s election.

There will be a list of state officials, including the president, MPs, and ministers, whose statements will be made public.

Others will submit statements for review but not for the public eye. These include public servants, the teaching sector, semi state organisation staff on an A13 pay scale and above, and public servants who are involved in tender committees.

As regards judges, the attorney-general has told the committee that the current provision would be unconstitutional – violation of separation of powers – since no other authority can scrutinise the judiciary.

AKEL MP Aristos Damianou said MPs respected the separation of powers but it was their view that all branches of government should be checked if the activity was not related to the exercise of their authority.

Damianou said MPs will discuss ways of including judges through special provisions.

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