House ethics sub committee refuses to convene in protest over Syllouris not resigning

House ethics sub committee refuses to convene in protest over Syllouris not resigning

A sub committee attached to the House ethics committee, scheduled to have a meeting on Wednesday morning, said they would not convene as a mark of protest over the fact that House President Demetris Syllouris has not yet resigned.

 

A sub committee attached to the House ethics committee, scheduled to have a meeting on Wednesday morning, said they would not convene as a mark of protest over the fact that House President Demetris Syllouris has not yet resigned.

The sub committee is tasked to examine the study the proposed code of ethics for MPs that has been in the pipeline for some time, and was originally initiated by Syllouris.

Syllouris announced on Tuesday he would abstain from duties as of next week pending investigations into reports he expressed willingness to help a Chinese businessman with a criminal record acquire a Cypriot passport as revealed in a documentary by Al Jazeera.

He is currently acting President of the Republic since President Nicos Anastasiades is in Brussels for the EU leaders’ summit.

Greens MP Giorgos Perdikis, who is also the head of the House ethics committee told media their scheduled meetings would be called off to protest the fact that Syllouris has not resigned yet.

Main opposition Akel backs the motion.

In the meantime, former Attorney-general Costas Clerides said Syllouris either needs to resign, or carry on with his duties, citing a constitutional gap.

Clerides told the Cyprus News Agency that it was paradoxical that the Speaker of the Parliament publicly apologises for his behavior and states that until investigations are carried out he will abstain from his duties and the next day to exercise duties of a position much higher than the one he holds.

Clerides said this was a “a matter of moral order”.

Invited to comment on the fact that Syllouris, as House Speaker is exercising the duties of the President of the Republic from Wednesday until Anastasiades’ return from Brussels, Clerides the abstention of the Speaker of Parliament from his duties from next Monday, creates “a constitutional gap”.

“The Constitution provides absolutely nothing for such a case,” Clerides said.

He said that the House President will either continue his duties normally despite the situation that has been created or will resign. “There are no intermediate solutions”, he said.

 

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