Opposition parties on Wednesday slammed the government for delaying the review of the anti-stalking bill, expressing concerns that there will be no time for its discussion and tabling for vote before parliament dissolves ahead of May’s legislative elections.

Disgruntled members of the House legal affairs committee lambasted the justice ministry over the two-year delay in preparing the revisions made to the bill that provides for strict penalties, where currently there are none, including monetary compensation for the victims of stalking and harassment.

“Those who consider stalking to be a very big issue in modern life that everyone has to work to combat, will be disappointed,” Diko MP Christiana Erotokritou said after a committee meeting.

Two years ago, she said, the committee agreed on some recommendations and were waiting from the justice ministry to consult with the state legal service to transfer these changes to the law to have an effective and modern legislative tool.

“It is obvious that the justice ministry does not prioritise the bill as important,” Erotokritou said.

Akel MP Aristos Damianou referred to a blame game between the justice ministry and the legal service and spoke of “unacceptable delays”.

Ruling Disy MP Demetris Demetriou said the bill is expected to be sent to the committee within 10 days. He called on his colleagues to stop the blame game and focus on discussing the bill when it arrives. Discussion on the bill is set to begin on March 24, he said.

Erotokritou said they were told they might not have time to discuss and table the bill to the House plenum before the parliament’s dissolution ahead of the elections in May.