CYPRUS: PARLIAMENT REVOKES CONSTITUTIONAL PROVISION ALLOWING CAPITAL PUNISHMENT
September 9, 2016: The plenary of the House of Representatives approved a constitutional amendment to strike out a provision in the country`s supreme law that enabled the imposition of the death penalty.
The majority of MPs who gathered this morning for the first plenary session of the 2016/17 period voted in favor of writing off the second paragraph of article 7. This was the 10th amendment in the Constitution of the Republic of Cyprus.
Of those present, 49 voted in favor while both ELAM MPs abstained. The Cyprus House consists of 56 MPs from 8 political parties.
The amendment was deemed necessary because "the Republic of Cyprus as a state governed by the rule of law that defends human rights and in particular the right to life and to physical integrity, opposes as a matter of principle the imposition of the death penalty".
The reasoning behind the amendment also notes that the Republic of Cyprus is an EU member state and abides by the Charter of Fundamental Rights, the European Convention on Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
The article that was removed provided for the possibility of imposing the death penalty by law in cases of premeditated murder, high treason, piracy or any offence resulting in the capital punishment under military law.
The last time the death penalty was imposed in Cyprus was back in 1962.
Addressing the plenary, House President Demetris Syllouris said that there are a few fundamental articles in the Constitution that also refer to the capital punishment, which are being examined by the Attorney General.
Serious work needs to be done and the House will do its bid, in consultation with the Attorney General and the President of the House Committee on Legal Affairs, Syllouris concluded. (Sources: famagusta-gazette.com, 09/09/2016)