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56th seat in parliament up in air after Supreme Court ruling

March 19, 2019 at 2:14pm
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The Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled that a law giving a vacated seat to a Solidarity MP was unconstitutional as it ran counter to the principle of popular sovereignty and violated the principle of the separation of powers.

The seat has been vacant ever since the court had, in an earlier decision,  ruled that Yiorgos Papadopoulos — who was the runner up in the May 2016 election — could not take the seat vacated by the party’s president Eleni Theocharous as she had resigned before being sworn in.

Parliament has tried to resolve the issue by amending the law, but its efforts ran into legal difficulties.

Tuesday’s Supreme Court decision effectively leaves the issue as to how the seat will be filled pending.

Attorney general Costas Clerides said the Supreme Court had vindicated the positions put forward by President Nicos Anastasiades when he referred the law approved by the House to the Supreme Court.

He added that the ruling had to be studied in detail to see what the next step will be and reiterated that one option was to amend the constitution.

Other legal circles have floated the possibility of a bye election for that specific seat, but Clerides said that as the law currently stood, such a move would be legally flawed.

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