Greek opposition parties reacted strongly on Tuesday following the last-minute introduction by the government of an amendment to a draft bill on postal voting, which initially allowed only Greek expats to cast their ballots in European Parliament elections, while the modification would also envision mail-in voting in the general elections.
The last-minute amendment, tabled by Interior Minister Niki Kerameous, triggered the reactions of leftist SYRIZA and centrist PASOK, both of which had cited initial support for the original draft law, which makes Greek citizens living abroad eligible to vote in European Parliament elections.
SYRIZA labeled it as a petty partisan trick, clandestine maneuvers that “undermine consensus in favor of partisan political gains.” PASOK’s response was vehement, with the centrist party’s officials stating that the debate on the issue would now have to start from scratch, as “for the first time, such a substantial change is made to a draft law by the Mitsotakis government that we are called to vote on, without the responsible minister having even prepared us for it.”
The sudden shift from a consensus by both SYRIZA and PASOK on the initial legislation is evident by the fact that both opposition parties voted in favor of “unconstitutional objection” on the bill raised by the Communist Party (KKE), right-wing “Greek Solution” (Elliniki Lisi) and leftist “New Left” (Nea Aristera).
The recent decision to broaden the scope of postal voting to include national elections has been met with joy and appreciation among the Greek diaspora, John Chrysoulakis, the Secretary-General for Greeks Abroad and Public Diplomacy stated in an interview with public radio, emphasizing the significance of this development, highlighting the expatriates’ deep connection to their homeland and their eagerness to actively contribute to the democratic process. The move is seen as a gesture that strengthens the bond between Greece and its global community, symbolizing one of the most meaningful gestures made by the homeland to its diaspora, he said.