Parliament debate on constitutional revision begins

Parliament debate on constitutional revision begins

The process to review Greece’s Constitution will enter its final straight this week, as the parliament plenum is set to begin debating the issue on Monday. Prime Minister Kyriacos Mitsotakis and opposition party leaders will address the House.

Parliament will discuss the proposals put forth by the special parliamentary committee responsible for the revision in five successive sessions this week. The government will reportedly seek to strike a high degree of consensus on important issues.

On 25 November, MPs will vote on the revised articles, before a final round of voting next month.

Articles set to be revised include one on how the President of the Hellenic Republic is elected. Political parties agree that failure to elect a President by an increased parliamentary majority of at least 180 should not lead to a general election. As yet, there is disagreement on the details of the system that should be adopted.

Another area in which consensus will be sought concerns article 86 of the Constitution on the liability of ministers. Political parties agree that a statute of limitation that currently applies to offenses by minister should be reviewed to match the treatment for ordinary citizens that face charges of criminal offence. Main opposition SYRIZA demands any change in the constitutional article applies retroactively; ruling New Democracy had rejected the idea.

Moreover, the review will also focus on the relations between the state and church, law-proposing rights, amendments to the electoral system and a decentralization of local government authorities, among other things.

The ruling and main opposition parties are also in disagreement over their approach to the voting rights of Greeks permanently residing abroad. The House must now decide how to move forward on this issue, with the government seeking for wide consensus./ibna