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Cyprus

Civil servant union chief against political postings

Head of Pasydy Glafcos Hadjipetrou

The head of Pasydy civil servants’ union, Glafcos Hadjipetrou said on Wednesday that no civil servant, regardless of their rank, should hold a political party office.

Speaking to state broadcaster CyBC radio, Hadjipetrou said that a 2015 law allowing civil servants to take up party posts as long as they obtain permission from the Public Service Commission (PSC) first was unconstitutional. The law provides for those on the A8 pay scale and above. Those below A8 are exempt from the regulations.

“A civil servant is there to serve the public. How can someone that promotes party policy be a civil servant promoting government policies?” Hadjipetrou asked.

He added that civil servants could not hold party posts and perform their duties impartially

The only acceptable position, he said, was for civil servants to be simple party members.

Hadjipetrou said this did not constitute the rights of civil servants whose task is to serve the public.

He said that the union had asked its legal advisor, Alecos Markidis, to look into the possibility of challenging the law in question. “If there is such a possibility we will. It is 100 per cent unconstitutional,” he said.

Hadjipetrou expressed his regret that the law was voted in “and nobody stopped it and now there is a row over who received permission or not”.

He was referring to the disagreement between Finance Minister Harris Georgiades and Auditor-General Odysseas Michaelides over the interpretation of the law as to the case of Savia Orphanidou, a civil servant who is also member of ruling Disy’s political bureau.

Attorney-General Costas Clerides recently ruled that any civil servant who held any post in any political party from 1991 to 2015 had been in violation of the law, and likewise those civil servants on the A8 pay scale or higher since 2015 holding party posts without permission from the PSC.

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