NEWS

Premier’s uncle quits ND seat

Long-time New Democracy deputy Achilleas Karamanlis said yesterday he will give up his seat in the Macedonian prefecture of Serres after the government decided to reverse a court ruling earlier this year which helped sanction his election. Karamanlis, who in the March 2004 elections lost the seat he had held for 41 years, regained it after a court allowed use of a complicated procedure counting blank votes in the final election tally. The 76-year-old brother of the late Greek statesman Constantine Karamanlis and the uncle of Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis sent a letter to Parliament Speaker Anna Psarouda-Benaki saying he will resign from his post after he learned a draft bill invalidating blank votes will soon be submitted to Parliament. The ruling conservative government last March upped its majority in Parliament by one seat, following the ruling from the special electorate court. Karamanlis was among three deputies from both New Democracy and PASOK who gained seats.