Sim­ple ma­jor­ity for elec­toral law

Vot­ing age of 17 ap­plies im­me­di­ately, Mit­so­takis warns of in­sta­bil­ity if PR adopted

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

Par­lia­ment ap­proved by a sim­ple ma­jor­ity last night the gov­ern­ment’s pro­posed changes to the elec­toral sys­tem, mean­ing that 17year-olds will be able to vote in the next gen­eral elec­tions but also that the 50-seat bonus for the win­ning party will re­main in place for now.

The coali­tion needed the back­ing of a min­i­mum of 200 MPs for the bonus to be scrapped im­me­di­ately, rather than af­ter the next elec­tions. How­ever, this tar­get never ap­peared to be within Prime Min­is­ter Alexis Tsipras’s grasp and he had to set­tle yes­ter­day for sup­port just from the nine MPs of the Union of Cen­trists and two in­de­pen­dent law­mak­ers, be­yond the votes from SYRIZA and In­de­pen­dent Greeks deputies.

The de­bate ahead of the vote was marked by strong ex­changes be­tween the gov­ern­ment and the op­po­si­tion, which ac­cused Tsipras of try­ing to push through a sys­tem of pro­por­tional rep­re­sen­ta­tion be­cause he fears los­ing the next elec­tions and wants SYRIZA to have greater in­flu­ence if it comes sec­ond.

New Democ­racy chief Kyr­i­akos Mit­so­takis ac­cused Tsipras of “po­lit­i­cal cyn­i­cism” and ar­gued that pro­por­tional rep­re­sen­ta­tion would cause po­lit­i­cal in­sta­bil­ity. He re­peated his pledge to change the elec­toral sys­tem if he wins the next elec­tions and forms a gov­ern­ment.

To Po­tami leader Stavros Theodor­akis fo­cused on the gov­ern­ment’s re­fusal to con­sider the cen­trist party’s pro­posal to al­low Greeks liv­ing abroad to vote in na­tional elec­tions. He also pointed out that un­der pro­por­tional rep­re­sen­ta­tion, up to five par­ties could have to work to­gether to form a gov­ern­ment.

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