Political parties will discuss today their proposals for the draft on voting rights for Greeks residing abroad. The Minister of Interior Affairs welcomed the party representatives just a few days after the prime minister’s meetings with the political leaders.
The government’s goal is to confirm the consensus image – with the exception of SYRIZA – created in recent days. Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ statement in an interview on ANT1 channel that he is willing to take some steps back from New Democracy’s proposal, if it means an agreement will be reached, occurred in that direction. Indeed, in order for the dialogue to be fruitful, the government majority suggested postponing the debate which was scheduled for tomorrow in the parliamentary committee regarding the Constitutional revisions.
“The discussion should be conducted in terms of publicity, in positions of principle and not for “deals” to be secretly discussed between parties in order to pursue other goals, such as the one heard regarding SYRIZA’s isolation. Everything on the table, nothing in secret hallways”, the main opposition’s spokesman commented, describing the beginning of the debate as something positive.
The government’s “red line” is that votes of expatriates must be counted on the overall outcome of the territory, something the smaller parties agree on. But not SYRIZA, which proposes that 3 to 12 MPs be elected without counting the overall vote, based on the Interior Ministry’s inter-committee findings earlier this year.
The requirement for any proposal to be valid is to garner at least 200 votes. Given the positive attitude of KINAL, DiEM and the Greek Solution, the role of KKE appears to be crucial. The government reportedly intends to accept, under conditions, two of the three prerequisites set by KKE: In-person vote at consulates instead of a postal vote, as well as the possibility of registering only those with a Tax Identification Number.
The main opposition warns of the risk of unconstitutionality, arguing that a constitutional revision is needed in order to turn TIN into a requirement to gain voting rights. However, this is not included in the articles to be revised decided by the previous House of Representatives.
Proportional representation and election scenarios before the end of the 4-year term
In addition to the expatriate vote, however, there is one more central government initiative that requires 200 votes. That is the electoral law and the abolition of the proportional representation that K. Mitsotakis had declared prior to the elections. “If we fail to get the 200 votes to change the electoral law, then the next elections will be double”, he stressed, “feeding” the rumors for early elections before the four-year term is completed, in order for the proportional representation to be destroyed.
KINAL accuses the government of arrogance, since, as they point out, Mr. Mitsotakis “moves forward on his own with an electoral law tailor-made for his interests, just to cause at least double elections”. KINAL had also proposed revising Article 54 of the Constitution so that the electoral law could be changed with immediate effect, by a majority of 180 votes.
Of course, another factor that will be proven pivotal for further developments is that of electing a new President of the Republic. Mitsotakis and Gennimata discussed the issue, as sources reported, postponing the decisions for next year. SYRIZA speaks of a “bargain” between New Democracy and KINAL on the occasion of the President of the Republic and the vote of Greeks abroad /ibna