PM appeals to parties to ban far-right party from elections

PM appeals to parties to ban far-right party from elections

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has appealed to all democratic forces to agree and vote in favor of a fresh government measure to ban a far-right political party from participating in next month’s general election.

The Greeks-National Party was founded two years ago by a jailed former lawmaker of the extreme right Golden Dawn party, Ilias Kasidiaris. Parliament in February approved a legislative amendment to ban it from fielding candidates in elections.

Speaking to local residents in Evosmos, Thessaloniki, Mitsotakis said the government measure would block the Golden Dawn criminal organization from running in the election behind a “thin veil.”

“We are tabling a new amendment that …  should, under normal conditions, unite all the democratic forces” the prime minister said.

“Tomorrow in parliament everyone will assume their responsibilities. Those who do not vote for this amendment are the same people … that want this formation to somehow end up in parliament,” he claimed.

“So I appeal to all the democratic forces, tomorrow, the last day of operation of this parliament before it is dissolved, to finally agree and put aside any differences and understand that this matter is a major issue of democracy. Golden Dawn is a convicted criminal organization,” Mitsotakis said.

The Greeks-National Party appointed a new leader last week to try to bypass the ban, prompting the government to submit a new amendment, broadening the scope of the ban.

Participation of the far-right party could have a significant impact on the May 21 election, narrowing coalition options, with opinion polls showing that no outright winner is expected.

Earlier, a vice president at the Supreme Court resigned in a legal dispute over the attempt by the government to ban the party. [AMNA, AP]

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