Aim is to settle election law issue before summer ends

11 June 2016
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The government will raise the issue of changing the election law now with the aim of resolving it within this summer, Parliament President Nikos Voutsis said on Thursday during a press conference. He said the goal would be a very broad consensus that will allow the new law to be implemented at the next general elections.

Voutsis said that there will be a discussion of the election system over the coming month “independent of whether Parliament will also be, as it would like, a part of the Constitutional content to be revised.” The aim will be the broadest possible consensus so that the new election law decided on by Parliament will have the Constitutional basis to be implemented at the next elections, due to take place three years and three months from now.

Discussion on revising Greece’s constitution will begin at the end of August or early September and be concluded after three or four months at least, in accordance with Parliamentary regulations and the Constitution, he added.

On the issue of introducing simple proportional representation, the Parliament president declined to elaborate, noting only that SYRIZA’s position on simple proportional representation, the “bonus” for the party with the most votes and a “minimum” percentage for representation in Parliament was known.

Voutsis also referred to the prospect of referendums and stressed that the revision of the Constitution will be carried out by the next Parliament on the basis of article 110 of the Constitution, while noting that the issue might be discussed in the context of the constitutional revision.

“It was a mistake that no referendum had been held for 40 years. This does not mean we will pass to a Swiss-type process. The Constitution itself, in any case, is strict and gives direction,” he commented.

The need for the people to express an opinion on individual issues will be a separate process and not concern the vote on revising the Constitution per se, he clarified. “I say this because a misunderstanding concerning this issue arose in recent days,” he added.

Voutsis also informed reporters that the agreement for the sale of the Hellinikon site to Lamda Development will be brought before Parliament for ratification after it is signed in November.

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