Parliament majority rejects opposition bid to declare draft bill amendments unconstitutional

Wednesday, 07 August 2019 14:41
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A majority of Parliament deputies on Wednesday rejected a motion by main opposition SYRIZA party to declare certain amendments in an omnibus draft bill unconstitutional, namely, provisions dealing with the function of local government administration, the contentious issue of university "asylum", and the retroactive implementation of "conflict of interest" clauses for the appointment of heads of independent watchdog authorities.

The legislation has been submitted to the Parliament plenum for fast-track debate and a vote, set for Thursday.

The new Mitsotakis government aims to fulfill a pre-election pledge to scrap the university asylum law in the country, which prohibits law enforcement from entering higher education premises to deal with criminal incidents except with the expressed approval of the rector's office or the faculty senate.

The government also wants to pass legislation that will implement conflict of interest clauses for independent authorities' heads, something that directly affects current Competition Committee president Vassiliki Thanou. The draft amendment has generated heated opposition and even scrutiny by the EU Commission.

The third initiative aims to overcome possible gridlock at municipalities and regional government entities from the most recent implementation of a more simple representational voting system in local elections - May 2019. The election law was passed by the previous SYRIZA government in the face of sharp opposition by New Democracy party, which today is the ruling party.

Several mayors have been elected in Greece that do not have a majority of councilors on municipal councils.

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