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SAE Vote of Overseas Greeks issue SAE President letter to the...

SAE President letter to the Greek ministers of foreign affairs and interior

27.11.2007

The World Council of Hellenes Abroad (SAE) Presiding Board was positive toward a government call to establish a tripartite committee of experts from the foreign ministry, the interior ministry and SAE to cooperate with the purpose of tabling a joint proposal on the draft law that regulates the “exercising of the Overseas Greeks right to vote in parliamentary elections”.

The above is mentioned in a letter addressed by SAE President Stefanos Tamvakis to Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos and Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis.

“A firm demand of the Overseas Greek citizens is to exercise their right to vote in the Greek national elections from their countries of residence”, Tamvakis pointed out. “We believe that the enactment of the Overseas Greeks right to vote will bring the Greek expatriates closer to the motherland. We request that our right be established with the approval of a wide majority winning the consensus of all political parties and avoiding political exploitation”.

Specifically, Tamvakis underlined the firm position of SAE — being the representative of Hellenic community organizations abroad — calling for election candidates that will come from the SAE Regions and express the distinct characteristics, needs, experience and knowledge acquired from their countries of residence for the benefit of the Greeks Abroad, Greece and Hellenism in general, following the example of electoral districts in Greece.

“We are certain that Greece moves in a substantive way toward a constitutional guarantee of the Overseas Greeks right to vote in national elections from their countries of residence”, Tamvakis concluded.

The letter was also forwarded to Deputy Foreign Minister Theodoros Kassimis, the parliamentary Special Permanent Committee on Greeks Abroad presiding board: President Nikolaos Tsiartsionis, 1st Vice President Grigoris Niotis, 2nd Vice President Nikolaos Gatzis, Secretary Tasos Kourakis and General Secretariat for Greeks Abroad General Director Ioannis Kyparissidis.