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Polis Chrysochous, Peyia welcome municipal reform law after Akamas row

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Polis Chrysochous and Peyia municipalities have jointly welcomed the rejection of the president’s challenge to local government reform, which would have seen Akamas communities under a single municipality.

In a statement, the municipalities expressed thanks to the political parties which opposed the president’s challenge at the plenary session on Thursday.

The rejection seals the achievement of the reform of local government for the creation of strong administrative entities, the municipalities said, adding they are willing to work with other communities which will be incorporated in the new municipalities.

They also called on the neighbouring communities to work collectively so that together they are ready for the 2024 implementation of the new measures.

Parliament passed the legislative package which created 20 municipalities (down from 30) as well as 30 local council clusters on March 3, after about a decade of discussions and haggling.

The transition period to full implementation will run through to May 2024.

Anastasiades had sent back to parliament the section of the law relating to the creation of Akamas and Polis municipalities following last-minute rearrangements of the communities falling under these two municipalities made by political parties and deviating from the government blueprint as submitted.

That move split the communities of Laona in the Akamas under three jurisdictions, infuriating the affected villages and prompting the government to ask parliament to reconsider what it said was a flawed decision.

But by a majority vote of 29 to 22 on Thursday, parliament rejected the president’s challenge – giving him the option to either accept the law as amended or send the issue to the supreme court, a time-consuming process that would have led to further delay in the much-awaited local government reform.

President Nicos Anastasiades decided not to challenge the law but suggested MPs will eventually have to reverse the change themselves.

 

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