ND looks to­ward cen­trist al­liances

Meimarakis’s pro­posal on change to elec­toral law seen as nod to smaller par­ties

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

As spec­u­la­tion about early elec­tions peaks chiefly due to dis­sent within left­ist SYRIZA over cred­i­tors’ de­mands for new aus­ter­ity mea­sures, the con­ser­va­tive op­po­si­tion New Democ­racy ap­pears to be look­ing to­ward new align­ments with cen­trist par­ties.

ND’s leader Vangelis Meimarakis spurred the spec­u­la­tion with a news­pa­per in­ter­view over the week­end in which he pro­posed a change to Greece’s elec­toral law with the in- tro­duc­tion of more de­mand­ing cri­te­ria for the 50-seat bonus awarded to the win­ning party. Meimarakis pro­posed that the cur­rent sys­tem, known as “re­in­forced" pro­por­tional rep­re­sen­ta­tion be kept in place but that the 50-seat bonus only be awarded in the event that the win­ing party se­cures a very high pro­por­tion of the vote – at least 40 per­cent. In the event that the pro­por­tion is closer to 30 per­cent, the win­ning party should be granted only a por­tion of the bonus with the re­main­der be­ing dis­trib­uted to other par­ties en­ter­ing Par­lia­ment, depend­ing on their share of the vote, he said.

As a rule, a change to the elec­toral law comes into the ef­fect with the next Par­lia­ment. The only way for it to ap­ply im­me­di­ately is if it is ap­proved by a two-thirds ma­jor­ity in the House which ND is far from com­mand­ing.

Aides close to Meimarakis said yesterday that the idea has not been dis­cussed with other par­ties. But, with grow­ing ex­pec­ta­tions of early elec­tions, Meimarakis’s pro­posal was widely in­ter­preted as an ini­tial over­ture to cen­trist po­lit­i­cal forces who have fa­vored changes to the 50-seat bonus law.

PA­SOK, which has lob­bied for the abo­li­tion of the 50-seat bonus, did not com­ment yesterday.

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