Court finds female poll quota unconstitutional

The quotas first enforced during October’s local elections to boost the numbers of female candidates are unconstitutional and will curtail Greeks’ right to stand for public office, according to a court ruling made public on Saturday that could play havoc with the results of the polls. Under a law drafted by Interior Minister Vasso Papandreou and passed last year, female – or male – candidate municipal or regional officials must represent at least one third of the total number of people standing for election on their ticket. This does not apply to the parliamentary polls. But, according to a report in Saturday’s Ethnos newspaper, an administrative court of first instance in Mesolongi, western Greece, rejected an appeal against a winning ticket that did not contain enough women candidates. The court argued that the quota itself was unconstitutional, as it restricted people’s right to stand for election.

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