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Politics

PM Mitsotakis Says Greeks Abroad Can Vote by Mail in Greek Elections

November 30, 2023

ATHENS – After restrictions earlier this year were removed to make more Greeks abroad eligible to vote in Greece’s elections, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis – who brought the right – said they will be able to do so by mail.

“We are establishing postal voting for anyone who wishes inside and outside Greece,” he said at the start of a cabinet meeting, adding it will allow “tens, hundreds of thousands of our fellow citizens who would not have participated under other circumstances,” such as the elderly, the sick, people with disabilities, young people who work seasonally, workers on election days, to vote.

He also said the government will not divide the country into constituencies, as was being mulled, a practice followed since 1981. Selection of candidates on the ballot will be done with crosses to mark preferences for various offices.

In July, Parliament approved a new law easing the requirements for Greek citizens residing abroad wishing to vote in Greek elections, with the ruling New Democracy getting enough votes from rivals to meet the threshold.

Meeting of the Cabinet under Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, at Maximou Mansion, Thursday, November 30, 2023 (GIANNIS PANAGOPOULOS/EUROKINISSI)

The new law will apply to both Greek nationals living permanently abroad as well as to Greeks who aren’t in the country on election day but still want to take part, as happens with some other countries.

The bill abolished the length of stay in Greece (2 years during the last 35 years) before voting and to have filed taxes during the current year or the previous one from the year of elections, which kept almost all from taking part.

“We are dealing with an issue that is above party lines. It is an issue that should unite us. The first bill that lifts all restrictions to the right to vote by Greeks who live outside Greece,” Mitsotakis said ahead of the vote.

He noted the party had tried to make the move twice in 2019 but it needed a super-majority of 200 votes in the 300-member Parliament and the Conservatives needed support from rivals, which finally happened.

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