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MPs to decide whether to make public bad debts of politically exposed persons

House president Demetris Syllouris

MPs will decide by July 17 on whether to publish a list of politically exposed persons (PEPs) with bad debts, House president Demetris Syllouris said on Wednesday after party leaders discussed the terms of reference of an ad hoc committee that will look into the matter.

Syllouris said he expected the list to be handed to him on Thursday so that he could convene the ad hoc committee on Friday.

The committee would have to decide whether the list would be published as is or if it needed to be studied, updated and evaluated as regards the accuracy of the information.

The PEP document was first delivered to Syllouris by former CBC boss Chrystalla Giorghadji in April of 2019 just before she stepped down.

The House president then returned it to the new governor, Constantinos Herodotou, and the matter has been going back and forth since, amid suggestions that MPs were trying to hide their dirty laundry.

Syllouris said the list he expected was the same one he had been given at the time and the committee would decide whether it was reliable and ethically and legally proper to make it public.

Syllouris said the committee aimed at wrapping discussion of the list by the end of the month but a decision on whether to publish it could be made by July 17.

Wednesday’s meeting also discussed improving the law relating to politicians’ asset declarations, which are ridiculed by the public every year.

There is no standardised form that is filled in, there is no uniform way in which real-estate values are calculated, there is no requirement of comparisons with earlier statements (the last ones were submitted in 2017, but were taken down as soon as the new ones were posted), no documentation is provided to back the figures given, while the assets of spouses and offspring are kept secret.

 

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