Greek lawmakers will vote on Monday evening on a list of constitutional changes which include granting the right to vote to diaspora Greek citizens.
There was intense political disagreement in the five-day debate at the plenary as well as at the parliamentary committee level regarding the Revision of the Constitution, but common ground was arrived at after mutual concessions.
Greek Interior Minister Takis Theodorikakos presented the final bill concerning the right of Greek citizens living abroad to vote at the plenary session of Parliament on Thursday evening.
The text, which included improvements on the original draft, was presented at the plenary session as part of the revision of the section of the Greek Constitution outlining exactly who has the right to vote in Greek elections.
Thedorikakos said that the proposed revision will use the length of time a Greek citizen has spent in Greece within a certain amount of years as a criterion for the right to take part in elections.
In addition, a revision of Article 54 of the Greek Constitution will allow for the designation of a certain number of state deputy seats to be dedicated for the representation of Greek citizens who are living abroad.
The draft also included a provision for the establishment of one or more voting districts for diaspora Greeks.
Theodorikakos said that the position of the ruling New Democracy party had been that all Greek citizens who are currently registered to vote in Greece should vote in their place of residence, through an absentee ballot, as is done routinely elsewhere in the world.
However, he acknowledged that this option could not garner the approval of 200 MPs, which would have been needed to pass; therefore the party came upon this compromise, “allowing us to take a significant first step,” he said.
Apart from the bill granting these electoral rights to Greeks living abroad, which is expected to pass with an overwhelming majority, lawmakers will also vote on provisions to separate the president’s election from the dissolution of Parliament and amend a law granting immunity to government ministers facing prosecution.