Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Friday achieved consensus with some party leaders on his government’s plan to grant Greeks living abroad full voting rights but not with the leader of the main leftist opposition Alexis Tsipras, who rejected the basis of the initiative, which is the equality of each vote.
Mitsotakis established common ground with the leaders of center-left Movement for Change (KINAL), the Communist Party (KKE) and the nationalist Greek Solution, indicating that he was on course to secure the 200 votes required for the motion to be passed in Parliament, especially if he also gains the backing of the MeRA25 party of former finance minister Yanis Varoufakis which is believed to be likely.
Tsipras however would not grant his support to the initiative, which he claimed would “distort the country’s political balance.” The leftist leader said he supported the idea of granting votes to Greeks living abroad in principle, noting that he himself had broached the issue during his time in power.
However, the government’s proposed method would jeopardize Greek unity in pursuing national interests abroad, Tsipras said, apparently suggesting that the interests of Greeks living abroad differ from those of Greeks based in their homeland.
His leftist administration’s proposal had foreseen the vote of diaspora Greeks appointing no more than 12 MPs. In contrast, the current government’s proposal, as described on Friday in a statement from Mitsotakis’ office, is based on “the principle of the constitutional equality of the vote, which means that the vote of Greeks living abroad would count directly toward the final election result.”
Mitsotakis’ meeting with KINAL leader Fofi Gennimata also reportedly touched on separating the election of Greece’s president from the dissolution of Parliament – one of several issues that are to be discussed as part of a debate on constitutional review initiated by the previous government.
Gennimata reportedly said that while not opposing the idea, she would not want to see a president being elected with a simple majority of 151.