Greek lawmakers to vote on new electoral bill amid disagreements

Greek lawmakers to vote on new electoral bill amid disagreements

Greek lawmakers will vote on Friday on a new bill that foresees a partial abolition of the simple proportional representation legislated by the previous SYRIZA administration.

The draft bill provides that the party with most votes in the elections will get a "bonus" of additional seats that increase depending on its share of the vote, provided it has received at least 25 pct of the vote.

A bonus of 20 extra seats will be given to the first party, with the remaining 280 seats divided among the parties in proportion to their share of the vote.

The bonus will increase by one seat for every 0.5 pct of the vote above 25, to reach a maximum of 50 seats from parties that get 40 pct of the vote nationwide.

However, an article in the bill that limits the number of seats granted to a coalition of parties was slammed as unconstitutional by the two main opposition parties during the debate in Parliament on Thursday.

Leftist SYRIZA and centre-left Movement for Change (KINAL) criticised the article that stipulates that a party coalition that wins first place in the elections will not be given the bonus if the average percentage of the parties that make up the coalition is lower than the percentage of an individual party that garnered the largest number of valid ballots.

The ruling majority of New Democracy rejected the claim of unconstitutionality, saying that the same rule applied with the 2008 electoral law and was never deemed illegal.

It is noted that this provision was abolished by the changes voted by previous government.