The House of Representatives has approved a new law to combat nepotism in its ranks.
According to philenews, during a plenary session on Friday, the body unanimously passed a legislative proposal which prohibits MPs from employing first degree relatives as parliamentary assistants.
The law covers both in-law and blood relatives.
The new law also sets a number of other regulations for parliamentary assistants.
Parliamentary assistants must fulfil the following criteria:
- Be citizens of the Republic or citizens of another EU member-state and permanent residents of Cyprus.
- Be at least of 21 years of age.
- Should hold a university diploma, recognised by the Republic.
- Should have no criminal record.
- Should have completed their military service, or have been legally discharged from it.
- Should not have been fired from public service or employment in an EU institution or in another member-state for a disciplinary misconduct.
Also, under the new law, parliamentary assistants will be obliged to take the majority of their annual leave during the period when parliament is in recess.
Parliamentary assistants are now made beneficiaries of a retrospective allowance upon the voluntary or involuntary termination of their employment. This allowance will be covered by a 3% deduction off their monthly wage.
Parliamentary assistants will continue to be employed under a private-law agreement. The contract will be signed between the assistant and the party or MP depending on who is the employer.
According to philenews, there are currently 101 parliamentary assistants on the payroll of the Republic — 56 work for MPs, three work for the representatives of the religious minority groups in the parliament (Armenians, Maronites, Latins) and 42 work for political parties.
The state pays 3,750,000 euro for their wages, annually.