Thursday , October 5 2023
Home / News / Politics / Greece / Greece’s Constitution revised, focus on President’s election, ministers’ liability

Greece’s Constitution revised, focus on President’s election, ministers’ liability

The Parliament approved the revision of 18 articles of the Greek Constitution with the main regulations to affect the election of the president of the Hellenic Republic, the Ministers’ liability and the vote of Greeks living abroad to cast votes in their countries of residence. For the first time, Greeks will have the opportunity to propose a law to the Parliament if they collect 500,000 signatures.

The election of Greece’s president is no more linked to dissolving the Parliament and proclaim early elections, if three rounds of voting by the Plenary fail to elect the president.

The president can be now elected with absolute or relative majority of 151 or fewer votes. The Revision was voted only by New Democracy MPs. (Article 32, paragraph 3 &5, 158 for, 134 against)

For the ministers’ liability, the statute of limitation has been abolished (Article 86, 274 for).

A minimum of 30 deputies must support a proposal for prosecution of a minister. Τhe proposal must then be examined by a special parliamentary committee through a preliminary investigation. The forming of such a committee requires an absolute majority (50% + 1) of all deputies (300). The committee’s report is then submitted to the plenary to decide for prosecution of the person in question or not, also with a vote of absolute majority. (Article 86, paragraph 3; 274 for, 23 “present”)

Greeks living abroad were given the right to vote for state deputies. The voting lists for state deputies must include, per the new constitutional article, candidates proposed by and representing Greeks abroad. (Article 54, passed with 212 votes for, 84 against, 1 “present”)

Revision of Article 21, paragraph 1 establishes a system guaranteeing a minimum income, and clearly states that “As the foundation of maintaining and promoting the nation, the family, marriage, motherhood and childhood come under state protection.” (190 for, 107 against)

Lawmakers immunity: A deputy could not be prosecuted or jailed without the Parliament’s permission, either during his/her tenure or between two parliamentary sessions (e.g. during summer recess). If an offense does not relate to the deputy’s obligations as such or to his/her political activity, the Parliament is obliged to approve prosecution, and has a three-month-margin of time to do so. It is not necessary to get Parliament permission for cases where the deputy is caught in the act of wrongdoing. (Article 62; 179 for, 117 against, 1 “present”).

Article 73 allows the public to propose laws for Parliament to vote on, as long as 500,000 signatures are collected. (Article 73; 254 for, 32 against, 11 “present”)

Specific regulations on all revised articles of the constitution will be set through the legislative branch, providing explanations and directions for their application.

SYRIZA’s revision proposals for “religious neutrality of the state“,  “term “dominant religion”, “adoption of a political oath” and “prohibition of discrimination on the grounds of gender, gender identity and sexual orientation” did not collect majority of votes. The relevant Constitution articles are not revised.

Check Also

Health Minister sacks hospital management over insanitary conditions

Health Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis sacked the management of the Konstantopoulio-Aghia Olga General Hospital in northern …