Student and in the office of the President of the Parliament

Questions are raised about the illegal employment of a student in the office of the Speaker of the Parliament


The emergence of possible illegality with the employment of a student in the office of the Speaker of the Parliament is documented in today's report by the newspaper Fileleftheros.

As stated in Myrtos Zoumidou's report, for a short period of time a TEPAK student also worked in the office of the Speaker of the Parliament. As the report states, the particular student, who is in the last year of his studies, provided technical support and design services for the Parliament's digital identity and communication, for a period of ten months.

After the uproar that arose with the 19-year-old who was appointed as an adviser to the Deputy Minister of Tourism, for whom the motive of the action is not completely demonstrated from the facts, questions reasonably arise about the employment of students in the groups of associates of high-ranking state officials, without holding the required qualifications, even though it is allowed by the "murky" legal framework.

The "Fileleftheros" newspaper contacted the Speaker of the Parliament, Annita Dimitriou, who stated that the person in question, despite being a final year student, was employed for a certain period of time after he was judged to be the most suitable for upgrading the digital image of the Parliament.

She clarified that this is a fixed-term, low-cost contract, which was paid from the funds available to her, in relation to her partners. However, Mrs. Dimitriou acknowledges that the landscape is murky regarding the recruitment of her partners as well as the rest of the government officials. As he said, it needs legislative regulation to be in full alignment with the positions of the Audit Service.

At the same time, the Speaker of the Parliament noted that last November she submitted a proposal for a law that aims to, the persons who will be employed in the Office of the Speaker of the Parliament should meet minimum, academic or other qualifications for the position. In addition, the salary scales applicable in the Public Service will be observed in relation to the field of knowledge and the field of employment.

Both the President of the Parliament and the rest of the state officials, based on the legislation, have the right to preempt consultants-collaborators (political appointments) under the regime of purchasing services with private law contracts, for a fixed period of time. However, the positions are sanctioned to the persons chosen by the official himself, without the announcement of a competition and without the publication of their names.

Illegal recruitment?

However, since 2019 the Law on Parliamentary Associates and Related Matters has been in force, which sets terms and conditions for the recruitment of parliamentary assistants - advisors in the Parliament, hence questions are being raised as to whether the recruitment of a student in the office of the Speaker of the Parliament was lawful . The current legislation ensures, among other things, that MPs' relatives will not be hired as was the case in the past, where MPs employed first-degree relatives (siblings and children) in their offices with public funds.

Conditions of employment

Based on the current legislation, a person may be employed as a parliamentary partner provided that:

  • He is a citizen of the Republic or a citizen of another member state and has his habitual residence in the Republic.
  • He has completed his 21st year of age.
  • Holds a recognized university degree.
  • He has a clean criminal record, with the certificate issued by the Chief of Police.
  • In the case of a male, he has fulfilled his military obligations or has been legally exempted from them.
  • He is not related by blood or first degree to a sitting Member of Parliament.
  • Has not been dismissed or terminated in the past from the public service or any public service or body of the Republic or the EU or a Member State due to disciplinary misconduct.

Earnings on the A8 scale

Parliamentary collaborators are employed by virtue of a private law employment contract entered into between them and the parliamentary parties or MPs who employ them. Their duties and obligations relate to the parliamentary work of their employer, whether he is an MP or a parliamentary party, and are defined in the type of contract they sign. The remuneration of the parliamentary partner is determined in his employment contract and calculated in proportion to the salary scale A8 of the public service and applies, taking into account the proportions, the provisions in force in the public service in relation to the granting of salary increments, 13th salary, gratuity.

It is worth mentioning that, based on the principles of transparency and equal treatment of citizens, the General Accounting Office of the Republic also publishes on its website the salary of the parliamentary partners with their initials, applying the provisions of the Law on Accounting and Financial Management as well as the Law on the Financial Control of the Republic.

The Odysseus proposal

The recommendation of the auditor general, Mr. Odysseas Michaelidis, is to pass similar legislation for the advisors of the President of the Republic, the Speaker of the Parliament, the ministers, the deputy ministers and the government representative in order to determine the qualifications and recruitment criteria.

Famagusta.News with information from "Fileleftheros" newspaper