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Politics

Limited Voting Rights in Greek Elections for Diaspora Set to Begin

February 17, 2021

ATHENS – Fourteen months after being passed into law, voting rights for a limited number of people in the Diaspora for Greek elections will open to them through an electronic platform enabling them to register.

That’s expected to be running by the end of February, said Kathimerini, allowing expatriates to vote from where they live but limited to those who can prove that over the past 35 years they once resided in Greece for an uninterrupted period of two years.

Proof can be provided by various means, such as army discharge documents, tax receipts or a diploma from a Greek university but the limitation means the right will be extended to about 300,000 people instead of millions.

And they will be able to vote only for at-large Members of Parliament, which is 15 out of 300 in the body, and shut out from picking their choice for Prime Minister and other offices, making them essentially irrelevant.

Prime Minister and New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis, needing backing from rival parties to get at least 200 votes in the 300-member body – the Conservatives have 158 seats – agreed to measures cutting out a large part of the Diaspora from voting, but touted it as a victory.

Mitsotakis had described the bill as “truly historic because it responds to a long-standing demand and a present need, opening the way for a better tomorrow for all Greeks,” after making concessions.

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