The leader of the main opposition Alexis Tsipras said on Monday he will not replace the two SYRIZA lawmakers who were removed from a parliamentary panel probing alleged meddling by former alternate justice minister Dimitris Papangelopoulos in the Novartis investigation.
The committee voted to eject MPs Pavlos Polakis and Dimitris Tzanakopoulos, both former ministers, due to their status as witnesses in the investigation, which was deemed to be a potential conflict of interests.
“With my responsibility as leader of the main opposition to uphold the Parliament's rules and the Constitution, I am not allowed to consent to an unlawful decision by a majority of the committee and thereby be part of the denigration of the national delegation,” Tsipras said in a letter to Parliament Speaker Konstantinos Tasoulas.
“Nor would I participate in depriving representatives elected by the Greek people of their rights,” he added.
Last week, Tsipras had called on Tasoulas to restore “parliamentary order” by reinstating the two leftist MPs, describing their exemption from the panel as “illegal” and a “brute deprivation of their parliamentary rights.” His request was rejected.
Tsipras did not clarify in his latest letter whether he will insist on Polakis and Tzanakopoulos joining the sessions of the committee, which is to convene again this week.