Cyprus Mail

Landmark anti-corruption bill goes to the House today

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The bill to set up an independent anti-corruption authority, which is being hailed as “the first and foremost” of its kind in Cyprus, will go before the House plenum on Thursday, the chairman of the legal affairs committee said on Wednesday.

Discussions wrapped up on the bill during the committee meeting on Wednesday where it was agreed to submit to the Cabinet a list chosen by an advisory council after discussions with MPs behind closed doors. Parliament will then send these 15 names to the council of ministers to choose five to comprise the authority.

“We are presenting before the plenary session of parliament a real, first and foremost, independent authority against corruption, an authority that no one can dispute,” he said.

Tornaritis said the term of office for the authority would be six years in order to straddle two presidential terms.

The bill, which has been under discussion for four years, is one of a three-pronged approach to stamping out corruption. The authority will be able to refer possible disciplinary offences to the relevant body. If it finds that a criminal offence may have been committed, then it will submit a report to the attorney-general.

However, despite the bill heading to the plenum, some political parties have said they would wait to state their final positions there.

Tornaritis said he had contacted the supreme court president so that it could name the former president to chair this advisory body, replacing the ombudswoman who Akel objects to. This proposal has still to be approved by the supreme court. If rejected, then the ombudsman will chair.

Another outstanding issue is the wording regarding the role of the House in the appointment process of the authority, with MPs pointing out that requiring that parliament is ‘consulted’ before names are submitted to the president for appointment could be ruled unconstitutional.


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