The Parliament will be faced with the new data created after the opinion of the Attorney General and the proposal approved yesterday by the Council of Ministers. Which is called to discuss and decide whether to accept the Government's proposal for a pan-Cypriot referendum at the same time as the parliamentary elections for the reform of Local Government.
The key, of course, for the continuation will be the attitude that AKEL and DIKO will finally observe, which at first sight have reservations, emphasizing the local character that a referendum should have. If the proposal is not voted on, then the issue will go to after the elections, opening a new cycle in the serial of the Local Government reform in Cyprus.
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It is reminded that the bill entitled “the Law on Provincial Organizations of 2021” is pending in Parliament at the same time. At the last meeting of the Committee on the Interior, provision was made with the support of the majority of the parties, AKEL, DIKO, EDEK, Ecologists and ELAM, for local referendums until December 2023. The Minister of the Interior requested an opinion from the Secretary General. , who replied that the referendum should precede the passage of legislation.
The Minister of Interior, Nikos Nouris, in his statements yesterday after the meeting of the Minister, stated that the decision will be forwarded to the House of Representatives accompanied by the appropriate question.
“The Council of Ministers at its meeting adopted a proposal by the Ministry of Interior for a pan-Cypriot referendum to be held on May 30, 2021, which is the date of the parliamentary elections,” he said.
The Minister of Interior reminded that the ministry suggested to the Council of Ministers the holding of a pan-Cypriot referendum, taking into account “the opinion of the Attorney General of the Republic which was placed on the amendments that had been attached to the Government's proposal by the Parliamentary Committee on Interior”.
More specifically, said Mr. Nouris, “the Parliamentary Committee on Internal Affairs amended the Government bill with a majority of decisions of the parliamentary parties, adopting the position for holding local referendums after the passage of the bills”.
According to him, the Attorney General of the Republic was of the opinion that this could not be done. “It is not possible to put before the people voted articles of the laws under the condition and judgment of a referendum,” he said.
The Minister of Interior, continued by saying that the Government, having in mind the positions of the parliamentary parties that by a majority preferred to hold a referendum, decided that “by adopting, exactly, the positions of the parliamentary parties, we suggest to the Parliament to hold a referendum on parliamentary elections in which the question will be raised before the sovereign people whether the reform in the Local Self-Government is desirable or not “.
Therefore, he said, “it should be expected that in the coming days the relevant decision will be sent by the Secretariat of the Council of Ministers to the House of Representatives”.