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Parliament: The percentages of the parties decreased, the state sponsorship increased

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Parliament: The percentages of the parties decreased, the state sponsorship increased

DISY will receive increased state sponsorship from next year. His turnout may have fallen by 2.9% in the recent parliamentary elections, however, the fact that seven instead of eight previous parties entered Parliament favored the ruling party, thus increasing its share of state sponsorship by 64,000. euros per year. Similarly, the Ecologists' Movement, where with a reduction of percentages by 0.4%, will receive from January 2022 an increased state sponsorship of 29,000 euros per year. The ELAM and EDEK parties will also receive increased state sponsorship, with the difference, however, that the two parties in question had an increase in percentages in the parliamentary elections last May. EDEK with an increase of percentages of only 0.5% will receive from the year increased sponsorship by 102,000 euros per year.

It should be noted that the state sponsorship for the year 2021 was distributed to the parties in a lump sum and in advance from last January, that is, before the parliamentary elections. Therefore, the total amount of the annual state sponsorship was divided among the eight parties based on the percentages they received in the 2016 parliamentary elections, including the Citizens' Alliance and the Solidarity Movement, which are no longer represented in Parliament as parties. The attorney general is expected to comment on whether these two parties should return part of the state sponsorship they received as they ceased to be parliamentary parties last May.

The distribution

Based on the table we publish, which was prepared by the accounting department of the Parliament in January 2022 and assuming that the amount of state sponsorship will remain as it is, the parliamentary parties will receive the following rounded amounts as state sponsorship:

* DISY – 1,980,000 instead of 1,916,000 euros received in January 2021.

* AKEL – 1,620,000 instead of 1,623,000 euros received in January 2021.

* DIKO – 889,000 instead of 970,000 euros received in January 2021.

* ELAM – 591,000 instead of 341,000 euros received in January 2021.

* EDEK – 587,000 instead of 485,000 euros received in January 2021.

* DIPA – 546,000 euros.

* Ecologists – 434,000 instead of 405,000 euros received in January 2021.

State sponsorship of parties is intended to cover their operating expenses. Its amount in recent years amounts to 6,649,451 euros per year and is distributed as follows: 15%, amounting to 997,417 euros, is divided equally among the parliamentary parties. The remaining 85% of the sponsorship, amounting to 5,652,034 euros, is distributed to the parties according to the percentages they secured in the recent parliamentary elections. State-sponsored political parties are required to submit audited accounts to the Speaker of Parliament no later than three months after the end of the financial year regarding the amount of the sponsorship. In this case, the parliamentary parties will have to submit audited accounts of how they used the state sponsorship they received in 2021, by March 2022 at the latest.

And in youth organizations

To the amount of 6,649,451 euros that the parties receive as an annual sponsorship is added the amount of 314,640 euros which is paid as an annual state sponsorship to the youth organizations of the parliamentary parties. The distribution of the amount for the year 2021 was based on the percentages secured by their parties in the parliamentary elections of 2016. The distribution of the amount for the year 2022 will be based on the percentages of the parties secured in the parliamentary elections last May.

Minus 80,000 for Averoff guard

DISY deposited an amount of 80,000 euros in advance for the year 2021 in order to cover the remuneration of the police officers who are the guard of the party president Averof Neophytou. According to information from “P”, the payment of the amount was made at the end of January through the accounting department of the Parliament with the deduction of a corresponding amount from the state sponsorship. Mr. Neophytos' bodyguard now numbers four police officers and has been reduced by 50% recently, as have other parliamentary party leaders. Before the opening of the public debate on the guards of the political leaders that led the Council of Ministers to take a decision to reduce them on 2/12/2020, the president of DISY Averof Neophytou had sent on 23/10/2020 a letter to the Chief of Police Mr. Stelios Papatheodorou informing him that he does not need the services of police officers who perform driving duties and that he will make his own arrangements on the matter. In the same letter, Mr. Neophytou demanded that the party pay to the Police the cost of the police officers who will eventually remain in his guard, thus showing the way to the other party leaders. As we were duly told, because this could not be done in practice, that is, the payment of a sum of money to the Police, Averof Neophytou asked the accounting department of the Parliament to cut the amount of 80,000 euros from the annual state sponsorship of the party.

The opinion

The decision of the party leaders to distribute last January a lump sum and in advance the amount of the state sponsorship for the year 2021 proved to be wrong as parties that failed to enter the Parliament received a state sponsorship of hundreds of thousands of euros. This is the Solidarity Movement and the Citizens' Alliance. The two parties received last January a state sponsorship of 905,000 euros as follows: Citizens' Alliance – 475,000 euros and Solidarity Movement – 430,000 euros. It is noted that the state sponsorship for the year 2021 was distributed to the parliamentary parties based on the percentages they received in the 2016 parliamentary elections, where the percentages of most were increased. The issue of returning part of the state sponsorship they received arises for the youth of both parties. The Auditor General, who by law audits the accounts of the parties in terms of how they use state sponsorship, asked the Attorney General for an opinion on what should be done given the fact that there is no legislation that obliges both parties and organizations young people to return part of the state sponsorship they received even if they are not entitled to it. However, the two parties have expressed their intention if and when asked to return to the state coffers the part of state sponsorship to which they are not entitled, that is, 7/12 of the state sponsorship they received if they ceased to be parliamentary parties last May.

Source: politis.com.cy

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