The House legal committee on Wednesday moved to reject President Nikos Christodoulides’ referral of a law aimed at granting the police chief powers to appoint specialist staff.

Independent MP Kostis Efstathiou said accepting the president’s position “would put democracy itself at risk”.

The bill which was eventually passed into law was put forth by Efstathiou but referred back to parliament by Christodoulides.

The law aims to give the police chief the ability to appoint any member of the force as a specialist member of staff, depending on their qualifications and criteria. This would be done with the approval of the justice minister.

According to a justice ministry rep at the committee, the latest law aimed to rectify a 2021 one for which the Supreme Court identified constitutional issues. As such, Christodoulides referred it back to parliament arguing the latest law did not ‘fix’ the previous problems.

The rep explained that specialist staff at the police operate under specialties set in line through the budget and requires specific academic requirements and services, which police are unable to obtain through their usual recruitment process.

Should the law have gone ahead, this will already burden the state budget by creating new specialists, the justice ministry said.

Committee chairman Disy MP Nicos Tornaritis stressed the House legal committee insists on the soundness of the law it approved.

He added it gives the police chief the possibility to reward officers exposed to danger while protecting the public interest.

“It is for this reason that we call on both the president of the Republic and the government and the police to accept the unanimous recommendation of the legal committee,” Tornaritis stressed.