Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Wednesday that the new electoral law will be debated by political parties in Parliament, however the granting of voting rights to Greeks living abroad will not be linked to this discussion. Instead, voting rights for the diaspora will be tabled in a separate provision.
“The right of Greeks abroad to vote from their place of residence is a priority and the relevant provision is coming soon, and independently, and I hope this issue will secure the necessary convergence in Parliament,” he said during the first meeting of ruling New Democracy (ND) party’s political committee since the 7 July election. “If there is a law that all 300 deputies must vote for, it’s this one.”
The center-right New Democracy party currently in power has been a long proponent of the diaspora’s right to vote. Giving Greek citizens the right to vote from their place of residence overseas would align Greek electoral policy to that of many other European countries that set up polling stations in embassies and consulates for their citizens abroad.
Socialist PASOK and leftist parties had been against the idea. Now, the ND holds 158 of the 300 seats and is not only raising the issue, but has placed former National Herald Publisher-Editor Antonis Diamataris in the post of Deputy Foreign Minister in charge of the Diaspora and Expatriate Greeks. As main opposition party, the conservative ND had also submitted the proposal to give Greeks abroad the right to vote for the third time since 2016. Should the ruling ND party be successful, Greeks abroad may have the right to vote in Greek elections by September.