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The Ministry of Defense responds to Anita – “The opinion of the Prosecutor General is not considered interference”

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Απαντà στην Α ννλτα ο ΥΠΑΝ-«Δεν θεωρελται παρε&mu ;βαση η γνωματευση Γ "

“There is no, nor could there be, intervention of the Ministry of Education in the legislative power”, emphasizes in his letter to the Speaker of the Parliament, Annita Dimitriou, the Minister of Education in a letter of, through which he answers regarding the issue that arose with the proposal of a law on sexual education. 

As Prodromos Prodromos' letter states, “I do not believe that anyone can consider the opinion of the Attorney General as an intervention”, adding that the effort made by the Ministry of the Interior was simply to inform the Parliament on the matter, through the President , the House of Representatives.

At the same time, the Minister of Education notes, among other things, that “any legislative decisions naturally belong to the House itself which has the freedom and authority to legislate”. 

Same letter

I refer to your letter dated 30 November 2022, for which I thank you and would like to note the following:

Under no circumstances does the Ministry of Education, Sports and Youth (YPAN) interfere in the legislative work of the Parliament.  My attempt, with the information letters dated November 25 and 29, 2022 that I sent you, was simply to inform you of certain aspects and issues raised by the passing of the bill as things stand today. 

In this regard, for the sake of fully informing the Parliament, I considered it my duty to bring to your attention the relevant opinion of the Attorney General, which judges the proposed law as unconstitutional, which I communicated to you in my letter dated November 29, 2022. &nbsp ;I do not believe that anyone can consider the opinion of the Attorney General as “interference”. 

In this regard, I must categorically clarify that there is, as you say, no “new view” of the Ministry. On the contrary, the position of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs remains as it was expressed during the consideration of the relevant law proposal in the Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights and Equal Opportunities between Men and Women, and I assume that it will be included in the relevant report of the Committee. 

Specifically, the Ministry of Education, at the level of principles, is not just in favor of the introduction of sex education in schools, but this is already its policy and has started to be implemented from the 2020-21 school year. In addition, however, as explained before the Parliamentary Committee, given this clearly positive attitude of the Ministry, in order to be able to introduce sex education in schools, there are some conditions and issues that must be regulated beforehand. One of them is the formation of the Clock Program on the basis of which the schools operate.  With my letter I tried to point out some of these issues to you and I had informed you that the introduction of sex education with relevant teaching at all levels of education requires a change in the school timetable. 

As I am sure you know, the Timetable is determined by a decision of the Council of Ministers, as defined by the relevant School Operating Regulations. The current Timetable was determined by a decision of the Council of Ministers, dated 28/4/2015 (Ref. No. 78.735) and 22/7/2015 (Ref. No. 79.166). I wanted, therefore, to point out that the passing of this specific law proposal means that the Parliament interferes and alters the decisions of the Council of Ministers and that this is obviously opposed to what is provided by Regulations which have of course been approved by the House of Representatives. 

The effort was to inform you, as the head of the Legislature, to know how the proposed law fits within the constitutional order. 

At the same time, and because the Ministry did not wish to rely only on our own reading of the Regulations, an opinion was requested from the Legal Service. 

Since, exactly as you state in your letter, “the judgment on the constitutionality or otherwise of the proposed law does not belong to the Executive Power, but to the Attorney General”, I considered it my duty to communicate to you the relevant opinion of the Attorney General, believing that it would serve the House of Representatives to know that the proposed law is considered by the Legal Service to be unconstitutional. 

In particular, in the opinion that has been communicated to you, it is expressly stated that “With the proposed law, the House of Representatives passed regulations that interfere with the exercise of executive and/or administrative authority. The proposed law contains elements of an administrative function and therefore circumvents the constitutional principle of the separation of powers, as well as Articles 61 and 87 of the Constitution”.  In addition, as I am sure you know, the intervention in the budget of the Republic, which is also highlighted in the opinion of the Attorney General, is an element of unconstitutionality.  

It goes without saying, of course, that the House of Representatives has every authority and power to legislate and the final outcome is solely its decision. 

In fact, I would like to underline that there is no need to avoid “unnecessary interventions in the work of the legislative power” in the future, as you mention, since there have not been any so far either. The effort made by the MFA was simply to inform, through the President, the House of Representatives. Any legislative decisions naturally belong to the Parliament itself, which has the freedom and authority to legislate. 

Finally, I also hope for my part, that, for the need to preserve the institutions, you will understand that a ministry must take into account the opinion of the legal advisor of the state, being concerned that the legislation it is called upon to implement is consistent with the Constitution. I don't believe that  something like this would be called “interference” with the work of the Parliament, but rather a sensitivity for the preservation of institutions and the separation of powers.

What is stated in a statement by Ministry of Education

In the meantime, in an announcement by the Ministry of Education regarding today's letter from Mr. Prodromos to  Ms. Annita Dimitriou, reports thatthe Minister of Education, Sports and Youth  with today's letter to the President of the House of Representatives, Mrs. Annita Dimitriou, clarifies that under no circumstances does the Ministry wish or intend to interfere in the work of the Parliament, nor does it consider that the notification of the opinion of the Attorney General, according to which the specific law proposal has problems of a constitutional nature”.

It is then pointed out that “Mr. Prodromou emphasizes that it is his obligation to inform the Parliament, through its President, about the opinion on unconstitutionality and about some issues raised regarding the implementation of the legislation if it is passed. At the same time, the Minister notes that the position of the Ministry of Education, Sports and Youth does not change and that it not only accepts the need for the introduction of sex education, but already its policy is the methodical and properly prepared introduction of it, as was done last year at young ages. The relevant letter is attached for information purposes”. 

Finally he adds that “the Ministry is ready to ensure all the necessary conditions for the generalization of teaching in cooperation with the competent parliamentary committee, but for the purpose there is no need for legislative acts to violate the constitutional foundation of the separation of powers”. 

AKEL attack on Prodromou

AKEL also took a position in the raging conflict, which accused Mr. Prodromou of regressive attitudes which he attributed to the entire Emergency government.

As stated by the press representative of the party, Giorgos Koukoumas, “the attempt of the Minister of Education, Prodromos Prodromos, to block the immediate passage of the Proposed Law on sexual education is not only institutionally impermissible”. they own the Minister of Education and the Emergency government but also all those who align themselves with the most conservative circles of society. Everything that the DISY government and the leadership of DIKO remembered to propose today – after years of discussions of the proposal in the Parliament, without raising any objections – are cheap excuses”, he emphasized.

He indicated that, their they have no basis, adding that, “scientifically based, pedagogically adapted, inclusive sex education at all levels of education is a right of children and young people. It is also a proven shield to protect the new generation from all kinds of risks to their life, health and well-being. It is also one of the most important tools in the fight against sexual abuse and exploitation of children”.

  • Harsh response of Annita to Prodromos-“Anti-institutional and unethical intervention”
  • Red Savvidis for sex education-“The proposed law is unconstitutional”

Source: www.reporter.com.cy

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