Larnaca Mayor, Andreas Vyras, was elected on Monday as the new chairman of the Union of Municipalities (UoM) for the next five years.
Vyras, beat his opponent and former incumbent, Famagusta mayor Alexis Galanos, by two votes. Also elected was the ten-member executive board, for the period 2017-2021.
In total 92 mayors and councillors acted as authorised representatives of the municipalities in the UoM’s general assembly vote. Vyras received 46 votes and Galanos 44. There was one blank vote.
Vyras pledged to work hard to tackle challenges ahead as regards the future of local government.
Local authorities are plagued by several problems, as highlighted in successive reports by the auditor-general. These include cash-flow issues, big delays in debt collections, loans in excess of €300 million for some, failure to submit accounts within the period specified by law, non-existent audit procedures and debts to pension funds in excess of €150 million.
The three bills comprising the government’s local administration reform package – aiming to reduce the operational costs of municipalities – are expected to go to the plenum by Easter or before the summer recess.