Electoral law put up for public consultation

Electoral law put up for public consultation

The Interior Ministry on Friday publicized the government’s final proposal to reform the country’s electoral law, sticking to a pledge to push for the replacement of the existing system of enhanced proportional representation with a simple proportional one that scraps the 50 parliamentary seat bonus for the winning party.

The proposal also includes lowering the voting age to 17 and maintaining the 3 percent threshold to enter Parliament.

The government needs 200 votes to pass the reform into law, but that appears unlikely as things stand now, as most parties of the opposition have said they will not back it.

Conservatives say the SYRIZA-led government is pushing for the scrapping of the electoral law because it is lagging behind New Democracy in the polls and hopes, in this way, to stop it from forming an independent government after the country’s next election – without the need to form a coalition.

Parties like centrist To Potami have said the new law would render the country “ungovernable” and has called for other parties not to back the “country’s ruin.”

In a statement, the Interior Ministry said that the simple proportional system and the abolition of the bonus will ensure that “Parliament becomes truly representative of Greek society” and allow the expression within it of all views and political persuasions.

According to government sources, the proposal will be debated until Monday evening and then tabled in Parliament by Wednesday, with the aim of passing it into law by July 10.

Sources said on Friday that the government wants the electoral reform to dominate the public debate over the next week, so as to divert attention from its mistakes – such as the complications that arose with the sale of a majority stake in Piraeus Port Authority (OLP) to Chinese shipping giant Cosco, when the government tried earlier in the week to change the terms of the agreement, only to backtrack the next day.

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