The Legislative Power of the Republic is exercised by the House of Representatives in all matters.
Term of Office
The term of office of the House of Representatives is five years. A general election must be held on the second Sunday of the month immediately preceding the month in which the term of office of the outgoing House expires. The outgoing House continues in office until the newly elected House assumes office, but during this time the outgoing House does not have the power to make any laws or to take any decision on any matter, except in urgent and exceptional unforeseen circumstances.
Following a constitutional amendment in 1985, the House has 80 seats - 56 for Greek Cypriot and 24 for Turkish Cypriot Deputies - with Deputies elected by universal suffrage of adults over the age of 18. Direct and secret ballots are held on the same day for both communities. However, since 1964, Turkish Cypriot members have not attended the House and no elections have been held among the Turkish Cypriot community in accordance with the Republic's constitution. Despite this anomaly, the House has kept vacant the seats allocated to the Turkish Cypriot community. These seats remain at the disposal of Turkish Cypriot Deputies should they be elected according to the constitutional provisions.
The President of the House is a Greek-Cypriot and is elected by the Representatives elected by the Greek-Cypriot community and a Vice-President is constitutionally provided for to be a Turkish-Cypriot and is elected by the Representatives of the Turkish-Cypriot community.
In case of temporary absence of the President or Vice-President of the House, their functions are performed by the eldest Representative of the respective community unless the Representatives of the respective community decide otherwise.
The Maronite, Armenian and Latin minorities also elect representatives who attend meetings, though without a right of participation in the deliberations. They are consulted in matters concerning the affairs of their religion groups.
The current electoral law provides for a simple proportional representation system. The number of seats in each constituency is determined by law with constituencies coinciding with administrative districts. Seat allocation for the Greek Cypriot community is as on the table on the right.
Each voter can choose a party or an independent candidate, without having the option of selecting candidates from different parties. Seats are distributed according to the electoral strength of each party.
Procedures of the House
Ordinary sessions run from the beginning of September to July the following year. The House is in quorum when at least one- third of the total number of its members is present. The laws and the decisions of the House are passed by simple majority vote of the deputies present.
The Parliamentary Committees generally correspond to the Ministries of the Government. They have the right to summon any interested party, authority, organisation, society, association, trade union, person or corporate body to give information and evidence or to express and explain an opinion or view on any bill or subject under consideration.The decisions of committees are taken by majority.
The information is provided by the Press and Information Office of the Republic of Cyprus.