Greece: Voting in Parliament turns into travesty

Greece: Voting in Parliament turns into travesty

Burlesque scenes unfolded today at the Greek Parliament during the vote to expand the indictment against the former Minister of Justice of the SYRIZA administration, who is under investigation by an inquiry committee looking into his possible involvement in infernal acts.

During the voting that took place with special procedures due to the coronavirus distancing measures, the ballot paper submitted by New Democracy MP Stavros Kalogiannis was not placed inside an envelope. Shortly before the ballot was put in the ballot box, New Democracy MP G. Melas can be heard saying “no, no”… However, he did not stop him in time and he did not withdraw his vote.

According to the regulation, this would mean that his vote should have been deemed invalid. However, in order for no votes to be lost, the most incredible thing happened live on the Parliament’s TV channel and with the microphones open; the ballot box was opened and the MP took back the ballot paper, something that is explicitly forbidden by the Rules of Procedure!

In fact, as this legislative farce was decided, Movement for Change MP G. Arvanitidis can be heard saying: “No one will notice”.

All this happened in the presence of the Speaker of Parliament, Kostas Tasoulas, while at that time Th. Bouras was in charge of the process.

As if nothing had happened, Stavros Kalogiannis put his hand in the ballot box, took back the ballot paper, put it in an envelope and placed it again in the box.

In fact, regarding the incident, sources of the New Democracy Central Committee state that ” the electoral committee unanimously decided that the ballot box should have been opened; the MP’s ballot paper which had not been placed inside the envelope should have been removed, and then, after Mr. Kalogiannis put his ballot inside the envelope, he left it in the ballot box. That was the legal process that followed the incident”.

Following the violation of the secret ballot method and the opening of the ballot box, the Secretary of the SYRIZA Central Committee Olga Gerovasili informed the Speaker of the Parliament in a letter that SYRIZA requested that the procedure be declared invalid and that it did not produce legal results.

In a statement, SYRIZA Spokesman Alexis Charitsis notes: “Not even 24 hours have passed since we described the preliminary committee case as a big fiasco, and New Democracy and KINAL have been quick to prove us right with their actions.

Today, New Democracy and KINAL crossed all lines, humiliating the Parliament and the Constitution of the country by violating the secret ballot in Parliament.

Cynically and on live TV, they did not hesitate to “correct” an MP whose vote was invalid, and to repeat the process by opening the ballot box to remove the “wrong” ballot, in order for the MP to vote “correctly” the second time around.

The parliamentary majority has become accustomed to anti-constitutional and anti-parliamentary attitudes. But no one could have thought it would even surpass limits that offend Democracy itself.

The Speaker of the Parliament must assume his responsibilities for this invalid procedure and protect the prestige of the Parliament”, the announcement concludes. /ibna