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House absolves MP of any wrongdoing (Updated)

themistocleous meeting
The House ethics committee

No violation of the code of conduct for members of the parliament has been found on Thursday in the case of Independent MP Andreas Themistocleous’ abusive social media remarks against a Green Party MP last week.

But the House ethics committee called on competent authorities to investigate possible criminal conduct.

The former Elam and Disy MP wrote on Facebook “it looks like the three blacks never showed up” in reference to Attalides’ past allegations that she was receiving threatening messages, among them one saying they would “send three blacks to take care of you”.

His post cited a December article when the Green MP said she was attacked over her support for LGBTQI rights among other policies. With this, Themistocleous was replying to Attalides’ earlier post where she welcomed the passage of legislation criminalising ‘conversion therapies’ on LGBTQI persons.

Last Friday, Attalides reported the independent MP to the special House ethics committee which met on Thursday under the House president Annita Demetriou. It concluded that it was not authorised to proceed with the examination of the complaint.

In a written statement, the committee explained that the incident occurred outside the parliament and outside the framework of the exercise of the duties of Themistocleous, as provided for by the Code of Conduct for Members of the House of Representatives.

But the committee unanimously condemned the post of the MP and called on the competent authorities to investigate the possibility of criminal conduct on his part.

The post “contains insulting, sexist, racist and offensive character that diminishes, among other things, the dignity of this MP,” the statement said.

The Ethics Committee also identified the need to amend the institutional framework on which the provisions of the code are based and for this reason will proceed immediately to make recommendations for its improvement.

Since the incident, Attalides has called for even stiffer penalties on MPs who behave unethically or in disorderly or disruptive way in parliament. She said the regulation amended should allow for the suspension of payment of an MP’s salary, or barring an offending MP from participating in committees – in line with European Parliament practices.

According to Themistocleous, he brought up the “three blacks” remark to show the Green MP that nothing in fact happened to her after passage of the bill prohibiting conversion therapies. His comment was meant to mock her claims that she was in danger.

The independent MP had voted against the legislation aiming to put an end to the pseudo-treatments on LGBTQI individuals.

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