Amid the intense political polarization that has gripped the country, opposition SYRIZA lawmaker Pavlos Polakis was referred to Parliament’s Ethics Committee by House Speaker Konstantinos Tasoulas Tuesday for violating debate rules and failing to comply with repeated calls to order.
“You will not turn Parliament into hell,” said Tasoulas, addressing SYRIZA lawmakers who vehemently opposed Polakis’ referral as unconstitutional.
“Everyone must comply with the parliamentary rules of procedure,” he said.
Meanwhile, center-left alliance KINAL accused both ruling New Democracy and SYRIZA of seeking polarization as a way to rally their respective bases.
Tasoulas’ move came a day after the controversial leftist lawmaker was asked to step down from the podium for going off-topic during a debate on a Development Ministry bill and launching into a rambling attack on Development Minister Adonis Georgiadis over an unrelated topic, and specifically the Novartis affair.
After repeatedly cautioning Polakis that he was in violation of debate rules, the coordinator of Monday’s discussion, Deputy Parliament Speaker Haralambos Athanasiou, was eventually forced to switch off the MP’s microphone and suspend the session for half an hour, during which Polakis, a former leftist health minister, continued his rant regardless.
Describing Monday’s session as “disheartening,” Tasoulas Tuesday noted that “Parliament is not just any place where we can take the stand to say whatever we want and do whatever we want.”
The decision prompted a reaction from SYRIZA, with the leftist party’s spokesperson, Yiannis Ragousis, saying the decision to stop Polakis’ speech was “unconstitutional and putschist.”
For his part, Georgiadis said that he plans to file a lawsuit in response to the aspersions cast by Polakis in his address on Monday.
The pair reportedly came close to blows on Monday in the Parliament cafe and were kept apart by other lawmakers.