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Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Plenary Session: Historic day for Local Government – Today, the 30 municipalities are reduced to 17 to 19

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Today is a historic day for the Local Government. After 10 years of itching, debate after debate, controversy and conflict, the reform bills for the Local Government are put before the plenary session of the Parliament for a vote.

The goal is the administrative and financial independence of the municipalities but also the financial viability of the new Local Authorities, which will emerge through the mergers that will be decided today by the legislature. With the passage of the reform bills, it is certain that “small kingdoms” will be lost and parties and mayors will be dissatisfied with their municipalities, through which client relations have been cultivated all these years, scandals have sprouted, the flower has blossomed. At the same time, however, with the mergers of municipalities, there will be over & # 8211; municipalities with expanded responsibilities, with financial autonomy and independence and that will be able to offer more and better services to citizens.

Based on the amendments submitted by the parties, it is estimated that the 30 existing municipalities will be reduced by mergers to 17 to 19. Given the electoral power of the parties as recorded in the recent parliamentary elections, DISY seems to win most of the new municipalities.

Referendums and votes

In addition to the amendments for the merging of municipalities and communities, equally important, if not the most important, is the amendment tabled by the three parties AKEL, EDEK and Ecologists for holding local referendums for the purpose of establishing new constituencies. The three parties have a total of 22 votes out of a total of 56. Even if ELAM, with its three votes, supports the controversial amendment, a majority is still not secured for local referendums. Therefore, the plate will be tilted by DIKO, which, it should be noted, submitted its own amendment for the holding of a pan-Cypriot referendum on the reform of Local Government. The parties DISY and DIPA – Cooperation, which have 21 deputies, oppose the holding of local referendums, precisely due to the fact that the ongoing reform of the Local Government is in serious danger. The competent Minister of Interior, Mr. Nikos Nouris, is also sitting on the burning coals, warning the parties that, in case the amendment for the local referendums is voted, the Local Government reform project will be blown up.

Elections and term limitation

In addition to the amendments of the parties for the merger of municipalities and communities, which we published in our edition yesterday, the parties have submitted a number of other amendments, which will be put to a vote this afternoon and concern, among other things, the electoral procedures for the election of new deputy mayors and city councils, as well as exceptions to the limitation of terms set by government bills. Specifically, the amendments of the parties are as follows:


  • Elimination of a provision referring to the indirect exercise of administrative supervision of municipalities by the Minister of Interior. of the Board.


  • The number of municipal councilors, including deputy mayors, should be determined as follows: In municipalities with up to 10,000 voters & # 8211; 16 councilors, in municipalities up to 20,000 voters – 20 councilors, in municipalities up to 30,000 voters & # 8211; 24 councilors and in municipalities whose voters exceed 30,000 & # 8211; 30 councilors.
  • The second distribution of seats should be carried out among the candidates in the relevant municipal district and the municipality should not be considered as a single constituency.
  • The persons claiming elections in communities, with a number of registered voters not exceeding 200, to be exempted from the limitation of the terms of office of the community leader or member of the community council.


  • The election of the mayor and the members of the municipal council of each municipality to be done with a single and universal vote within the municipal limits and not at the level of a municipal district. In addition, the election of a deputy mayor for each municipal district should take place among the elected municipal councilors of each new municipality.
  • To be able to nominate a person for mayor, deputy mayor or councilor in the municipality within which he has his professional home or exercises mainly his profession or achievement, since that municipality has essentially become the center of his activities.
  • To delete the provision on the basis of which a person who has already served in the position of community leader or member of the council for a total of three terms will not be re-elected.

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  • The election of a deputy mayor for each municipal district should take place among the elected municipal councilors of the respective municipal district of each new municipality.
  • In case the immediately preceding amendment is rejected, then, the deputy mayors should not be included in the total number of councilors to be elected in each constituency.
  • In the second distribution of seats, the municipality should be considered as a constituency and candidates should not be required to collect a certain percentage of all valid votes.
  • Provisions are introduced for the performance of inspections for the static adequacy and urban suitability of each building by professionals registered in ETEK, for the purpose of ensuring a certificate of suitability of the buildings. The inspection of the buildings will be carried out within 10 years from the date of the first electrification of the building and then every 10 years from the issuance of the last issued certificate of suitability. The inspection of the buildings built before 1960 will be done every five years. A person who does not comply with the above will be guilty of an offense and in case of conviction will be subject to imprisonment of up to 12 months or a fine of up to € 1,700 or both.
  • Introduction of provisions to make it possible to deal more effectively with the noise nuisance caused by the operation of recreation areas.
  • In the event that an official who has held the position of director, head of technical services or head of financial services is transferred to the new municipality and it is not possible to place him in a position whose duties and responsibilities are proportional to those of the position he held, that person employee may be transferred to another municipality.
  • Ecologists
  • The election of the deputy mayors should be done by the newly elected municipal council, instead of a direct election by the electoral body as proposed in the bills.
  • Implementation of the simple proportional to the electoral process for the purposes of promoting municipal councilors. In particular, it is stipulated that the municipality will be considered as a single constituency during the first distribution of seats and voting will take place within the municipal limits, instead of at the municipal district level as proposed in the bills. According to the Ecologists, in this way the reduction of the electoral measure will be achieved and the possibility of electing candidates from the smaller political parties will be increased, in order to maintain the pluralism in the Local Self-Government.

Source: politis.com.cy

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