A new circular letter issued by the Greek Interior Ministry reminds all voters that expatriates and foreigners legally residing in Greece, as well as the citizens of the member states of the European Free Trade Association (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland) who hold a valid residence permit, are not entitled to vote or be nominated for any elected official posts in the upcoming local elections, held across Greece in May.
Passed a couple of years ago by former Interior Minister Yiannis Ragoussis, the former law (Law 3838/2010) on voting rights, and especially Articles 14-21, were deemed unconstitutional by the Greek Council of State and were abolished recently by a new amendment, passed by Interior Minister Yiannis Michelakis.
According to the Decision 460/2013 by the Council of State, the rights to vote or run in local elections apply only to Greek citizens as established in the Greek Constitution. Therefore, this right cannot be extended to people without a Greek citizenship, unless it is decided after a revision to the current Constitution.
Meanwhile, a recent decision by the Greek Interior Ministry has specified the number of preferred candidates that can be marked on voting ballots in the upcoming local elections. According to the decision, in single-constituency municipalities, which aren’t divided into municipal or local communities, ballots will allow three preferences. The municipalities consisting of more constituencies will allow for only one preference cross, if the constituency elects up to three municipal counsellors.
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