New Democracy Mulls Postal Voting for Greeks Abroad

Αssociated press

(AP Photo/Yorgos Karahalis, FILE)

ATHENS – Long deprived of the right to vote in their homeland, Greeks living abroad could finally get it under a plan being considered by the new New Democracy government that's looking at ways to let them submit ballots by mail.

That would apply to national elections and comes only weeks after they were shut out of voting in the July 7 snap elections that saw the Conservatives oust the former ruling ruling Radical Left SYRIZA of then-Premier Alexis Tsipras who reneged on promises of a vote for the Diaspora.

Interior Minister Takis Theodorikakos outlined the idea after meeting with 14 mayors from the Thessaloniki region in northern Greece and said other schemes being used by other countries who allow voting by their residences abroad are also being looked at.

“I believe that this specific provision will be voted by all the parties in the Greek Parliament. I cannot imagine any lawmaker... denying Greeks living abroad the right to be able to vote in their place of residence,” he said, reported Kathimerini.

But New Democracy had not acted while ruling previously to let the Diaspora vote but under Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis is taking steps to allow it, naming The National Herald former publisher Antonis H. Diamataris as Deputy Foreign Minister for Greeks Abroad as part of a plan to finally connect with Greek citizens living in other countries, with scores of thousands having fled during a 9 1/2-year-long economic crisis to find work and a better life elsewhere