Parliament on Friday amended the constitution to allow for a reduction in the time limit for filing appeals against the decisions of the asylum service from 75 to 15 days, as part of a wider government effort to tackle illegal migration.
It was the 28th amendment of the Republic’s constitution, passed with 38 votes in favour and 14 against, those of main opposition Akel.
The amendment will allow the government to cut the number of days, from 75 to 15, granted for appeals to the administrative court of international protection against the decisions of the asylum service.
Voting on three other related bills was postponed over procedural issues.
The interior ministry welcomed the vote, which it described as the first but decisive step in enforcing the government policy on asylum and migration.
In a written statement, the ministry’s spokesman said the amendment complemented the effort for swift examination of the particular category of applications and the effort to reduce illegal migration in the country.
The ministry has also introduced bills designed to stamp out sham marriages, restrict third country students, expedite the examination time of visibly unfounded asylum applications, and boosting the administrative court for international protection.
It thanked the parties for passing the amendment and noted that “both the particular constitutional amendment, and the other amending bills, which we expect will be approved by parliament in a later session, will be immediately applied in a bid to tackle the huge problem our country faces with the continuous rise of migrant flows.”
The ministry reiterated that the government’s aim was to receive and host refugees who have a real need for support but also the “drastic reduction of the number of undocumented economic migrants who have flooded our country.”