NEWS

New law would allow majority gov’t with 37.5 percent

STAVROS PAPANTONIOU

TAGS: Politics

During his separate meetings with opposition party leaders on Friday to brief them on his trip to the US and his administration’s stance on key national issues, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis also gave each a copy of the government’s full plan for an overhaul of the electoral system.

The new system essentially abolishes the simple proportional representation system, in line with Mitsotakis’s pre-election pledge, and foresees a sliding scale bonus of up to 50 seats for the party that wins the most votes in national elections.

The winning party would be able to form a government on its own with between 37.5 percent and 38 percent of the vote though the exact percentage would depend on the number of parties entering Parliament.

The innovative aspect of the proposed system is that the sliding scale bonus would start from 25 percent of the vote, which would foresee 20 seats, with an additional seat for every additional half a percentage point.

The next time elections are held – most likely in 2023 when the current administration’s term is set to expire – they are unlikely to lead to the formation of a government under the simple proportional representation that the previous leftist premier Alexis Tsipras introduced.

However, the aim of the bill, according to government sources, is to ensure that in subsequent polls a party with a strong win can independently form a government and “secure the governability of the country.”

The draft bill was put up for public consultation yesterday and on Monday will be submitted to a parliamentary committee for debate before going to a vote in the House’s plenary on January 22.

Online