Voting Rights for Greeks Abroad: Party Consensus Possible, PM’s Office Says

FILE - Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, left, speaks with Syriza party leader Alexis Tsipras during their meeting in Athens, on Friday, Oct. 11, 2019. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

ATHENS – The stance of political party leaders meeting with Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on the issue of voting rights for Greeks abroad “was productive,” the PM’s office said in a statement on Friday, and shows “there is serious grounds” for a solution acceptable to all parties.

Mitsotakis met with leaders of parties represented in Parliament to discuss the issue before tabling legislation for it. His successive meetings included main opposition SYRIZA’s Alexis Tsipras, KINAL’s Fofi Gennimata, Communist Party’s Dimitris Koutsoubas, Greek Solution’s Kyriakos Velopoulos and MeRA25’s Yanis Varoufakis.

“For the government, the basic prerequisite for finding common ground” among parties, the statement said, “was the acceptance of the constitutional principle that all votes are equal, which means that that the votes of Greeks living abroad are included in the total voting count, without separating [Greeks] into first- and second-class citizens.”

The issues discussed, the PM’s office explained, were “the process of exercising this right” to vote, and “how the representatives of voters living abroad are elected.” Differences of opinion were expressed, “but it appears there is serious grounds for a substantial alignment towards a jointly acceptable solution,” the office at Maximos Mansion said.

It added that the Interior Ministry will talk with party representatives so that a draft bill to be tabled in Parliament “will be voted on with the widest possible majority.”

“It must be made easier for Greeks living abroad to exercise a fundamental constitutional right, as happens in all European countries. This opportunity must not be missed,” the statement concluded.

See also:

Tsipras: ‘We want the creative participation of the Greek diaspora’

‘We want the Greeks abroad to be able to vote,’ Gennimata says

Communist Party’s leader Koutsoubas supports voting rights for Greeks abroad, at meeting with PM

Greek Solution’s Velopoulos: ‘Unacceptable that Greeks abroad cannot vote’

MeRA25 leader Varoufakis: ‘Greeks abroad should have the right to elect and be elected’