Bill relaxing voting requirements for Greeks abroad passes committee reading

Representatives of the Greek diaspora welcomed the lifting of restrictions for Greek nationals living abroad who wish to vote in Greek elections, during the review of a bill at committee level on Friday.

The bill passed through the Permanent Committee of Public Administration, Public Order, and Justice by a wide majority vote. It will be debated in plenary this coming week before it is put to vote.

“We are the soul and voice of Greece abroad. We promote and support national issues. The future of Greece is our future as well,” representatives of Greeks abroad from Europe and North America told the committee, and called on all parties to support the draft law. They also criticized as “unfair and unacceptable” the conditions set by the current law on Greeks voting from abroad.

They also asked for the future expansion of the law to include the right to vote by letter and the creation of electoral districts abroad.

Representatives providing opinions at committee reading included those of Greek communities in Paris and environs (Seta Theodoridou), Brazil (Stavros Kyriopoulos), Germany (Constantine Kachrimanidis, Panos Drossinakis), and the medical association of North America (Spyros Mezitis).

Also expressing opinions were Greek Ombudsman Andreas Pottakis and Leonidas Raptakis, president of the World Hellenic Inter-Parliamentary Association, representing legislators of Greek origin.