The leftist SYRIZA government in Greece is seeking to change the rules to allow the right-wing Independent Greeks (ANEL) party to maintain its parliamentary group.
The party can have a parliamentary group with a minimum of five lawmakers, however ANEL may end up with four members. A change in the rules would allow Aristidis Fokas, who entered Parliament with the Union of Centrists but joined ANEL, to be counted as an ANEL member even though he was elected with a different party.
Critics dismiss the change as unconstitutional, however also included in the changes is a grant to voting rights to Greeks of the diaspora. This would mean that Greeks living abroad who have Greek citizenship and are registered on electoral rolls would have voting rights. These rights would have limited impact as they would only be able to vote in three “diaspora” MPs.
There are an estimated 10 million Greeks abroad with voting rights in Greece. It has been criticised that their numbers, though large, would have limited impact into voting rights.
The main opposition New Democracy Party is expected to lodge a counterproposal that would foresee that diaspora Greeks would have a more powerful voice rather than contribute to voting for just a handful of MPs.