Although everyone publicly committed to reach an agreement on the nationally sensitive issue of the vote of Greeks abroad, during their meetings with the Prime Minister the true differences and hidden interests were uncovered.
The official announcement issued by Maximos Mansion proved that the government insists on “accepting the constitutional principle of equality of vote, which means that the vote of Greeks residing abroad counts towards the overall election result, with no divisions of A class and B class citizens”. It is, however, the main point of disagreement with SYRIZA, which does not accept that the vote of Greeks abroad should be counted against the overall election result, as the party believes this would distort the electorate, with Alexis Tsipras publicly expressing his disagreement in a statement he made right after the meeting.
A second issue of disagreement is the proposal for postal vote put forward by the government, but also by the main opposition. KKE’s attitude is the key factor in this, which while initially disagreeing with the vote counting on the overall result seems to be closing in on the New Democracy position, in the context of a broader negotiation on matters regarding Perissos. However, KKE also puts forward a number of conditions while rejecting the postal vote scenario. KINAL appears to agree with the position of the government, as does the Greek Solution of Kyriakos Velopoulos and DiEM25.
In its statement, Maximos Mansion also states: “The process of exercising this right, as well as how representatives of non-state constituencies are elected, are issues that are subject to consultation. Various opinions were expressed on these issues at today’s meetings. However, there appeared to be considerable room for substantial convergence in finding a mutually acceptable solution … Greeks residing abroad must be facilitated in exercising their fundamental constitutional right, as is the case in all European countries. This opportunity should not go to waste”.
For his part, Alexis Tsipras replied: The proposal we make today is based on the findings of this committee. That is to say, those who have or can acquire Greek citizenship and are registered in the electoral rolls can vote at their place of residence. And to elect from three to twelve Members of the State, depending on the number of voters on the electoral rolls abroad … But we do not wish – and will he will have to go through us if he attempts to do so – to turn the Greeks abroad into a means for electioneering or to cause frictions on their homogeneous associations, depending on the party they support. The proposal Mr. Mitsotakis verbally presented to me unfortunately serves towards that direction”. On her behalf, Fofi Gennimata stated: “We want Greek citizens abroad to be able to vote at last; for their vote to count; to elect representatives. We do not want one more opportunity wasted”.
Kyriakos Velopoulos called for “a good electoral law and for the expatriates to be able to vote”, only for the prime minister to respond that “they are on the same page”. /ibna