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Syllouris tables proposal that would see Solidarity keep vacated seat

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House Speaker Demetris Syllouris at Friday’s House plenum tabled a proposal aiming to settle the legislative gap in the allocation of waived seats, which came up after the Supreme Court ruled last month that there was no legal basis for Solidarity leader Eleni Theocharous’ seat going to the party’s runner-up.

After last May’s legislative election, in which Theocharous was elected to parliament in Limassol, she waived the seat and it went to the party’s next in line, Giorgos Papadopoulos.

This would have been in line with election law’s provisions, had it taken place after Theocharous’ swearing-in.

But, because Theocharous had already been serving as MEP, she declined the seat and argued the process should be triggered anyway.

There is no legal provision for the replacement of MPs elected into office but declining the seat.

The Supreme Court, which had heard a legal challenge by Disy candidate for parliament Andreas Michaelides against the handling of the matter, ruled that existing law did not justify passing the seat to Solidarity’s runner-up, but did not opine on how it should be handled.

Following the Supreme Court ruling, Papadopoulos’ seat has remained vacant.

Syllouris, a Solidarity member, on Friday submitted a legislative proposal, by which the same process for seats vacated after an elected MP has been sworn in should be adopted for declined seats, meaning the seat would remain with Solidarity.

If the proposal is voted into law, Papadopoulos will return to parliament in Theocharous’ place.

Diko and Edek, who have formed an alliance with Solidarity in backing Diko leader Nicolas Papadopoulos in next year’s presidential elections, have already voiced united support for Papadopoulos retaining the seat.

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