Consensus reached on voting rights for diaspora Greeks

Consensus reached on voting rights for diaspora Greeks

A cross-party committee discussing ruling New Democracy’s initiative to grant full voting rights to diaspora Greeks reached a consensus on Tuesday night, Interior Minister Takis Theodorikakos announced.

“It is a bill that deserves and should be voted by 300 lawmakers,” Theodorikakos said.

The legislation requires a two-thirds majority (200 votes) to be ratified. After Tuesday’s consensus this target is expected to be met.

Lawmakers overcame a technical snag on Monday concerning the Communist Party’s (KKE) proposal that only those who have lived outside Greece for less than 30 years should be eligible.

This was due to the fact lawmakers deemed that Greek state authorities would be unable to establish the exact number of years someone has been away from the country.

The hurdle was cleared with an agreement that diaspora Greeks will be eligible to vote if they can prove with state documents that they have lived in the country for two years over the past 35 years.

It was also agreed that the vote of diaspora Greeks will count toward the overall election result and that they will be able to choose from among 15 (previously 12) candidates on a state list.

Voting will only take place at a consulate or any other venue selected by the authorities. Political parties can include diaspora Greeks in their tickets if they choose to.

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