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World Council of Hellenes Abroad (SAE) submitted its positions on the vote of overseas Greeks and the relative legislation in a letter-memorandum to the competent government ministers and the parties of the opposition.
Expressing satisfaction for the Greek government initiative and the support voiced by the main opposition party, SAE President Stefanos Tamvakis stated that the enactment of legislation on the voting rights of overseas Greeks will strengthen organized Hellenism abroad and bring Greeks living in different parts of the world closer to the motherland. The issue of the vote of overseas Greeks, he pointed out, should not be exploited by political parties, stressing that the Greeks of the Diaspora see it as a national issue and meeting this old demand will clear the way for up-to-date and meaningful contribution to Greek politics, Greece and Hellenism.
SAE suggests the establishment of a Special Joint Committee comprising members of its board, jurists and distinguished members of the Omogeneia to study the issue and draw up a comprehensive proposal on the creation of new electoral districts for the Greeks abroad.
SAE points out that the creation of more polling stations in regions with large Greek population is imperative calling for the postal vote option to be included in the new legislation to facilitate voting for those living far away from metropolitan centers while, at the same time, ensuring protection against vote tampering and guaranteeing secure implementation of the voting procedure. Finally, a proposal is made to launch the vote of overseas Greeks measure on January 1, 2010 instead of January 1, 2011.
SAE’s proposal was forwarded to Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos, Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis, Deputy Foreign Minister Theodoros Kassimis, main opposition PASOK party leader George Papandreou, the Greek Communist Party (KKE) and Coalition of the Left (SYN) leaders and the parliament’s Special Permanent Committee on Greeks Abroad.