ND deputy rues voting not to lift Golden Dawn MP’s immunity

New Democracy secretary and MP Manolis Kefaloyiannis said on Thursday that he regretted voting against lifting the immunity of Golden Dawn MP Ilias Kasidiaris, who is to stand trial for assaulting two female politicians during a live TV show last summer.

Kefaloyiannis prompted negative reactions from opposition lawmakers and within his own party on Wednesday when it was revealed he was one of three deputies who voted for Kasidiaris to keep his immunity from prosecution. All three “no” votes came from New Democracy MPs but the other two lawmakers said they done so by mistake. A total of 205 deputies voted in favor of Kasidiaris facing trial.

Kefaloyiannis claimed he voted “no” because he felt Kasidiaris should be given a chance to apologize, but on Thursday he said if the vote was held again, he would vote “yes.” The former merchant marine minister denied rumors that Prime Minister Antonis Samaras’s office had expressed disappointment with the MPs’ choice of vote. Kefaloyiannis also dismissed suggestions that he might resign.

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