Government hints at referendum for Constitution and electoral law

8 June 2016
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In Tuesday’s media briefing, government spokesperson Olga Gerovasili hinted towards the possibility of a referendum being called for the planned constitutional review and electoral law change.

Although Mrs. Gerovasili did not get into details on such a prospect, she spoke about carrying out a broad political and social discussion in order to reach the greater possible consensus.

The change of the electoral law is scheduled to take lace in the autumn, while the discussion on the constitutional review will last about a year. The Interior Ministry’s ambition is for any issues that arise from the public debate, to be voted on via an “electronic referendum” with an advisory function.

Nevertheless, the Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will present the government proposals for constitutional review on the 24th of July.

The media reports on the possibility of a referendum prompted major reactions from the opposition parties, with New Democracy calling the government to act serious, while the River stressed the need for meaningful debate.

Former PASOK president Evangelos Venizelos cited legal problems with carrying out a referendum for the constitutional review. Mr. Venizelos argued that this may be viewed as an attempt to overthrow the Constitution, since only the dictatorship carried out constitutional changes via “consultations” and “referendums” in 1968 and 1973.

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