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Vacant House seat returns to Solidarity

Solidarity's Eleni Theocharous criticised the government for praising 'the tiniest traces or nuggets that could be considered to favour our side'

Parliament on Friday voted to reinstate a Solidarity Party MP who had lost his seat following a supreme court decision.

Twenty-six MPs voted in favour of the bill and 13, all present Disy MPs, voted against.

With the approval, Giorgos Papadopoulos returns to parliament.

The issue emerged after Solidarity Party leader Eleni Theocharous, who was elected to parliament in Limassol in May, waived the seat and opted to keep her place in the European parliament, which she had won when she was still with Disy.

Her seat in the House went to Papadopoulos, the party’s next in line, who had only received 767 votes.

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

There was no legal provision for the replacement of MPs elected into office but declining the seat before the parliamentary term started.

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 the runner-up, but did not opine on how it should be handled.

Disy argued that the decision legitimised the deception of the electoral.

MP Nicos Nouris said it was an oxymoron to support the bill for the particular election only and not the European elections of 2014 too, when Theoharous left Disy after her election.

“She never returned the seat to our party’s runner up but she kept it for herself,” Nouris said.

What was worse, according to the Disy MP, was that it send people the message that parties could include personalities on their ticket who would go on to waive their seats after election, making room for the runners up.

“We are simply asking, is this the democracy we want in this country?”

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