Draft bill on overseas vote goes to parties

Draft bill on overseas vote goes to parties

Interior Minister Takis Theodorikakos on Friday sent a draft bill for allowing Greeks living abroad to participate in election in Greece to the political parties before it is put to public consultation next week.

The legislation seeks to make it easier for registered voters to participate in general and European elections if they live or are traveling abroad, thus opening up the process to thousands of voters who had been excluded until now. It also seeks to allow them to vote in national referendums.

Apart from being registered on a municipal electoral list, non-domiciled voters will have to prove that they resided in Greece for at least two years in the last 35 and be able to produce a Greek tax registration number either of their own or their spouse, the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA-MPA) reported.

They will also have to register on a special platform that will be created on the Foreign Ministry’s website, where they will have to provide their identification details but also proof of residence in Greece. This may be an education certificate, proof of military service or proof of social security payments.

As for the process, they will have to appear in person to vote at specially designated polling stations, which may be in Greek embassies, consulates, churches, associations, community centers and even businesses. An oversight committee will be posted at each polling station to ensure that the vote is conducted legally.

In both national and European elections, they will only be able to vote for a party and prime minister, and not for individual lawmakers.

Once the electoral process is over, the ballot boxes will be sent, with their seals intact, to Athens for the count.

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