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Cyprus

Auditor-general warned to keep to his mandate

Auditor-general Odysseas Michaelides

No one has the right to interfere with the way the government exercises policy, President Nicos Anastasiades has said.

The president was commenting on recent actions by the auditor-general, during an interview with daily Politis that was published on Monday.

Anastasiades was asked about the spats Auditor-General Odysseas Michaelides has had with two ministers – education and interior – who had accused him of overstepping his mandate.

The ministers had asked the attorney-general to clarify the matter.

“The attorney-general has not replied, but what I know well is that the constitution makes separation of powers clear,” he said. “My instructions to the ministers is to be strict and careful with managing public money and good governance.

“However, as regards policy, no one has the right to interfere, or think they are above what democracy dictates.”

Prompted to answer the question who was governing: “you or the auditor-general?” Anastasiades said that there was the impression that Michaelides interfered with matters that were outside his authority.

“I want to believe he does it in good faith, but care is required from everyone, without exception,” he said. “No one can define policy, the task belongs exclusively to the elected president and the government,” Anastasiades said.

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