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MPs begin discussion on code of ethics

Lawmakers on Wednesday began discussions on a code of ethics for MPs, which had been shelved during the pandemic.

The code was discussed at the House ethics committee with House president Demetris Syllouris, who drew up the 155-pages of rules that aim to enhance transparency among deputies.

He said he hoped the code would be finalised by “early autumn if possible in September”.

Some MPs have complained that the code is too long, longer than the 90 pages of the constitution.

Asked about the content of the code, Syllouris said: “It includes strict rules for the correct behaviour of MPs.”

Committee chairman Zacharias Zachariou said the code was a self-regulatory mechanism for how deputies should conduct themselves.

“The goal and philosophy is transparency and the absence of conflicts of interest,” he said.

Included in the code are provisions that some MPs have said suppress free speech, freedom of information, and the transparency it was supposed to safeguard.

The code would bar deputies from giving any information to journalists or having “isolated contact” with any. The code also stipulates what a deputy could write in articles published in the press.

MPs are expected to look to similar codes in other countries to aid in compiling a final draft.

 

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