The institution of ombudswoman is invaluable, complementing the state’s efforts in forging a society of equality before the law, President Nicos Anastasiades said on Thursday.
He was addressing an event commemorating the 30th anniversary of the establishment in Cyprus of the Commissioner for Administration and the Protection of Human Rights – also known as the ombudsman/ombudswoman.
In his remarks, the president went through the history and evolution of the office, which through the years has gained additional jurisdictions and powers – such as acting as the national anti-discrimination authority.
At the same time, actions were taken to ensure transparency and the independence of the office. For example, this year parliament passed a law limiting the ombudswoman’s terms to just two. In addition, the president’s nominee for ombudswoman must now be ratified by parliament.
Anastasiades thanked current ombudswoman Maria Stylianou-Lottides, lauding her for her efforts in ensuring the independence of the office.
“Attempts to interfere [with the office] were – thanks to the resistance of the Commissioner – thwarted,” he noted.
“It is an institution that acts ancillary and in complement to the efforts of the state to build a society based on justice, equality and respect for diversity and the rights of all citizens on all levels.”