Greece’s Rival Parties Get Diaspora Vote Bill, Some Skeptical

FILE- Greeks vote. (AP Photo/Yorgos Karahalis)

ATHENS – After decades of broken promises and lingering, a draft bill that would give Greeks abroad the right to vote in national elections is getting closer after being sent to rival parties of the ruling New Democracy for review.

The government of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who vowed to make it happen after his own party let it slide in previous administrations, wants to bring the plan to a vote in Parliament by the end of November, said Kathimerini.

His party controls the body with 158 votes but the diaspora vote legislation requires 200 for approval and he has been meeting with rival party leaders seeking support and as some, especially the major opposition Radical Left SYRIZA he unseated in July 7 snap elections, having reservations, the paper said, as the KKE Communists do too.

SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras, while in power, said he didn’t want to give the diaspora full rights but only partial and there had been questions about whether voting should be done only in person or also by e-vote.

Proposals by SYRIZA including changing the electoral system to simple proportional representation were rejected.

A cross-party committee discussing planned constitutional reform, in what was said to be an acrimonious debate, approved changes including the restriction of parliamentary immunity for ministers and the separation of the symbolic Greek President’s election from the dissolution of the Parliament.

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