The Bills concerning the reform in the Local Self-Government are submitted to the Plenary Session of the Parliament for voting on February 24, after the completion of the examination and the last open issues.
“We have passed the amendments one by one, some of which have already been incorporated into the texts, while others have been rejected. I estimate that a number of amendments from those that have already been discussed will be examined by the Plenary Session of the Parliament “, said in his statements after the session of the Parliamentary Committee on Interior the Chairman of the committee and AKEL MP, Aristos Damianou.
Provisions for the issues in question
“With regard to the disputed issues before the Commission for a final decision, at present and in principle, the provision for holding local referendums is maintained. With regard to local referendums, there are specific amendments, which define local referendums literally. That is, be local, per community or per city. There is another approach that says that the referendums should be held per scenario and concerns the specific mergers, ie if there are 20 Municipalities to hold 20 referendums and of course there is the position for not holding referendums. “In the texts of the bills, the general report is formulated, bearing in mind, of course, that the remaining positions will be formulated through amendments in the Plenary Session of the Parliament”, explained Mr. Damianou.
Election of deputy mayors and municipal councilors
At the same time, “as far as the issue of the election of deputy mayors is concerned, there is still provision for the election of deputy mayors from the municipal districts from which they come. Regarding the election of municipal councilors, there has been a significant addition to the debate, which is of course approved by the parliamentary groups of the parties. This provision, in contrast to the existing system and in order to facilitate the election of candidates of smaller parties with lower percentages, provides that in the second distribution there will be no ceiling, nor the condition of occupying a seat by parties that had occupied a seat from the first distribution. .
The issue of scenarios and number of municipalities is open
“Through the discussion and submission of specific proposals for a possible reduction of municipalities in all provinces, the issue of scenarios and the number of municipalities remains open. These are issues that will be the subject of Amendments in Plenary. “There have been significant convergences, mainly in additions to the scenarios themselves, in some communities, especially in the province of Paphos, to make some municipalities more robust, more efficient and more economically viable,” he added. “The concern for a possible reduction of municipalities by parliamentary groups was expressed for all the provinces. AKEL's position is that the existing scenarios serve a balance that exists: economic, geographical and political, in the national sense. And I am referring specifically to semi-occupied municipalities, which are provided in the scenarios and there are thoughts for differences. There is a serious possibility that there will be changes, which did not occur in today's sitting. However, specific proposals have been submitted by parties for all the scenarios of all the provinces “.
Text confirmation on February 10
According to Mr. Damianos, for the purposes of further certainty regarding the content of the texts, the Committee on Interior will meet again on February 10 with the sole object of confirming the text of the Bills. “This will ensure that what has been discussed in the Home Affairs Committee all this time has been integrated in a way that all parties have co-decided.”
It has also been decided that there will be a term limit in total. “This concerns three terms in total, without retroactivity, creating an exception, taking into account political geography and demographics, for communities with less than 100 voters,” he said.