Remarks in recent days by government spokesman Giannis Oikonomou and Minister of State Giorgos Gerapetritis have fueled speculation over a possible change to the country’s electoral law.
“The need for stability is now much more pronounced and more demanding than before” and “this cannot be ignored,” Oikonomou said Saturday, while adding on Monday that ND’s standing position is “that the electoral law should reflect electoral correlations and lead to strong and stable governments.”
For his part, Gerapetritis noted that a climate is being formed which undermines the possibility of partnerships. “What is the alternative?” he asked.
The current electoral law is based on proportional representation.
The scenarios reportedly under consideration include a return to the 50-seat bonus for the first party.
Another entails a new “tiered” bonus starting from 20 additional seats to the first party that gets 20% of the vote and from there onward every half percentage point above 25% will get an additional seat. This way, a single party government would be achieved at around 36%, compared to close to 38.5% to 39% under the current system.
A third scenario foresees an extra bonus of one seat for every one percentage point between the parties. If the first and second parties are six points apart, the first party would get an extra six seats, in addition to the ones it is entitled to from the bonus.
The decision to change the electoral law, however, is not without detractors, who note the government will open itself to charges of inconsistency given earlier statements by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis that he will not toy with the electoral system.
A change may also have the opposite effect and deprive Mitsotakis of the possibility of the hard polarization deemed necessary in order to achieve a single-party government.
“If the bar is lowered, it may be a signal for a more relaxed vote,” a government official told Kathimerini.