Thursday, March 3, 2011

Point #12 of November 30 1963 proposal - Debate it!

Point 12. All decisions of the Public Service Commission to be taken by simple majority.

The Constitution provides that any decision of the Public Service Commission shall be taken by an absolute majority vote of its Members.

This general provision, however, is qualified by other provisions making it necessary that in matters of appointments, promotions, transfers and discipline such majority must include a certain minimum number of Greek and Turkish votes depending on whether the decision relates to a Greek or a Turk. In short, a power of veto is given to a section of the Greek or Turkish Members to negative majority decisions.

It is obvious that this procedure for taking decisions by the Public Service Commission creates a situation whereby the Greek and Turkish Members feel that their paramount purpose, as Members of the Commission, is to protect Greek and Turkish interests and not to serve the true interests of the Public Service. Thus, even in the mode of deciding an issue communal criteria are superimposed on the universally accepted criteria adopted by similar bodies elsewhere. This is of particular significance in view of the fact that the Public Service Commission, in addition to being the appointing authority, is also the disciplinary body for the Public Service.

Furthermore, the procedure laid down in the Constitution creates situations leading to deadlock resulting in a state of uncertainty amongst the public servants and often preventing the speedy appointment of officers to vital posts. If this situation is allowed to continue, it will result in undermining the efficiency of the Public Service. It may be argued that, in taking decisions, the Public Service Commission may act in a discriminatory manner. In such a case there is adequate remedy provided by Articles 6 and 146 of the Constitution. The former Article prohibits discrimination against any of the two communities or any person as a person or by virtue of being a member of a community, while the latter Article provides that any person may make a recourse to the Constitutional Court against any decision, act or emission contrary to any of the provisions of the Constitution, one of which is Article 6, if any legitimate interest, which he has either as a person or by virtue of being a member of a community, is adversely affected.

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Turkey's Kurds & Cyprus' tCypriots

As either unitary state or federation solutions are discussed as replacements to Cyprus' 1960 and Turkey's 1923 unworkable constitutions, should we abide by "if a right is a right too many for Turkey's Kurdish community (circa 23% of population) then that right is a right too many for Cyprus' tCypriot community too (circa 15%), and vice versa." Is the adoption of this fair logic the catalyst to securing just solutions for both UN countries.