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19 June, 2024
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MPs reject dissolution of parliament amid passports scandal

MPs voted against the dissolution of parliament that would signify it taking collective responsibility for failing to prevent the current crisis, but many said fault lies with the government alone


After officially electing AKEL MP Adamos Adamou as the new House President following the resignation of Demetris Syllouris amid intense backlash against his involvement in the recent golden passports scandal, MPs on Thursday debated on whether parliament should be dissolved making way for early elections, with the proposal eventually rejected with 26 votes in favour and 30 against.

The proposal, submitted by the Green Party MP Giorgos Perdikis and independent MP Anna Theologou, called for a dissolution of parliament and the resignation of President Anastasiades after the massive corruption scandal that was brought to the surface by recent Al Jazeera revelations in the form of a video depicting high-ranking officials offering to do whatever it takes to assist a fictitious Chinese businessman with a criminal background in securing a Cypriot passport through the island’s citizenship-by-investment scheme.

The revelations brought intense public outcry and waves of reaction, and led to the resignation of AKEL MP Christakis Giovanis and House President Demetris Syllouris, as well as the abolition of the scheme in November and the launching of infringement procedures against Cyprus by the European Commission.

During parliament’s discussion on whether to dissolve parliament, in this way accepting collective responsibility for failing to pass the necessary legislation that would secure the investment scheme from abuse, President of the ruling party DISY Averof Neophytou offered mea culpa on behalf of the party, calling on all do to the same, and supported a dissolution of parliament, in view instigating a “gradual return to political normalcy”.

Others, particularly AKEL Secretary-General Andros Kyprianou, said in his address that the party refuses to allow parliament to take the fall for faults that lay with the government, while many questioned whether fresh elections in 40 days would result in any form of differentiation of the current make-up of parliament.

With the rejection of the proposal, parliamentary elections are to take place as normal in May 2021.

Cyprus  |  parliament  |  dissolution  |  passport  |  golden  |  scandal  |  Al Jazeera

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