Cyprus Mail

Police promotions compliant with court rulings, says minister

The Minister of Justice and Public Order, Ionas Nicolaou attends the inauguration of the Zygi Police Station.

FOR the first time, promotions in the police force are fully compliant with Supreme Court rulings, Justice minister Ionas Nicolaou said on Friday.

He was responding to accusations by main opposition party Akel that recent promotions were the result of party politicking.

“Instead of focusing on the need to cleanse the force of corruption, the minister sidelines capable and worthy officers through his unacceptable and prejudiced politicking, undermining its credibility and reducing its effectiveness,” Akel said in a statement.

“Obviously, meritocracy and transparency are not part of the minister’s political outlook, nor of his everyday attitude and demeanour. Obviously, his goal is to serve political expediency, instead of promoting the public interest.”

A little later, Nicolaou defended the ministry’s promotion decisions and hit back with an in-kind barb.

“For the first time, the Justice ministry and the police operated in a way fully compliant with Supreme Court rulings,” Nicolaou said, referring to earlier promotions that had been reversed by the top judicial body as “unjustified”.

“It is stressed that the promotions were based on the legally prescribed criteria, which promote meritocracy and incentivise the force’s members to work to boost their careers through performance, education, and experience. We therefore reject any claims to the contrary, which are foreign to our policy, as we have adopted a new policy that offers hope to members working to overhaul and modernise the force.”

For the first time, detailed justification for the choices made was offered, based solely on the legally-defined assessment criteria, Nicolaou said.

“Contrary to practices of the past, which led to promotions that were reversed two or three or even four times, because the policy of making the same choices without sufficient justification, completely ignoring the rulings of the Supreme Court,” he noted.

“I repeat, once more, that instead of some insisting on issuing accusatory statements, they had best discuss their concerns with the ministry, since this is the only way to remedy the distortions caused by preferential promotions in the past, which ended up sidelining worthy and capable members of the police.”

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