Greek government eyes constitutional reform

Greek government eyes constitutional reform

In what is being interpreted by some as an attempt to divert public opinion away from the austerity measures, government spokeswoman Olga Gerovasili on Tuesday elaborated on the administration’s plans for constitutional review and reform of the electoral system.

Gerovasili did not rule out the possibility of a referendum on constitutional reform, while echoing Interior Minister Panayiotis Kouroublis on the government’s plan for changing the electoral law. The new system being eyed by the government is one of “simple proportional representation,” Gerovasili said, adding that authorities had not yet decided whether a 50-seat bonus awarded to the winning party under the current system would be abolished or reduced.

The spokeswoman confirmed that the government is aiming at an overhaul of the Constitution. Among the provisions that authorities are considering changing are those relating to the election of the country’s president, who is now appointed by Parliament but who would be elected by citizens, according to reforms being considered by the government.

A committee is to be given just over a year to compile the government’s proposal, according to sources who said that Kouroublis as well as Labor Minister Giorgos Katrougalos and SYRIZA MEP Costas Chrysogonos, both professors of constitutional law, will be members of the panel. The committee is to present its proposal next summer on July 24, the anniversary of the restoration of democracy in 1974 following the fall of Greece’s military dictatorship.

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