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Expatriate voting rights discussed in Parliament committee

A confrontation between the government and the opposition took place in the parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Administration on the occasion of the decision by main opposition PASOK to vote down the interior ministry-sponsored draft law on the voting rights of the Greeks abroad.

According to the Constitution (article 51) the bill requires a two-thirds majority (200 deputies) in order to be passed in Parliament.

The stance adopted by PASOK shows clearly that if its positions on the establishment of “electoral districts abroad” and “postal vote” are not accepted it will not vote for the draft law, Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos stated. He stressed that “expatriates should know that those adopting such a position simply do not want to give them the right to vote”.

Ruling New Democracy (ND) rapporteur St. Keletsis stated that the draft law is the product of dialogue and allows political parties to have up to three expatriate candidates in their state deputies lists (Epikratias).

On behalf of main opposition PASOK party, T. Hytiris stated that the vote of the Greek expatriates is a very serious issue and that the draft law presented is sketchy. He stressed that the Greek expatriates will have a genuine role only through the establishment of electoral districts of Europe, US, Australia etc. and called on the government to withdraw the draft law.

Communist Party of Greece, KKE, special rapporteur A. Skyllakos stated characteristically that “those outside cannot have the right to decide on how those inside will live”.

SYRIZA MP F. Kouvelis stated that he rejects the draft law and suggested the establishment of expatriate MPs and electoral districts abroad, stressing that the number of expatriate MPs should be subtracted from the number of MPs elected from state deputies lists (Epikratias).

LAOS MP Ath. Plevris suggested that the top place on the parties’ nationwide candidate lists be occupied by a Greek expatriate candidate and rejected the postal vote proposal.

Source: ANA-MPA

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