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Mitsotakis pledges to grant voting rights for Greeks abroad

The Opposition leader presented a draft bill targeted at both Greek citizens who are permanent residents of other countries, and those who have recently emigrated

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Photo: Business Insider

27 October 2017

Leader of the Opposition, Kiriakos Mitsotakis, jumped aboard the 'diaspora voting rights' train on Monday, when he presented a draft bill on behalf of his party Nea Dimokratia which proposes how Greeks abroad could vote in the country's elections.

It is the second attempt of the opposition to start this conversation, as the same draft legislation has been dragging in parliament for 18 months without being brought up for vote.

The bill is targeted at both Greek citizens who are permanent residents of other countries, and also those who have recently emigrated due to the crisis, causing the so-called 'brain drain' of Greece.

According to the bill, their votes would count towards the general tally, not on specific constituencies.

Nea Dimokratia has long been in favour of granting voting rights to the Greek diaspora, something that the left has traditionally been against.

The socialist party PASOK, which had been in power for most of the past 30 years, had been indecisive on the matter.

Meanwhile, the Tsipras government is not opposed to the idea, with Deputy Foreign Minister, Terrence Quick telling Neos Kosmos earlier in the year during his visit to Australia that he is in favour of a system similar to what exists in Italy and France.

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