Greek Diaspora May Get to Vote in 2019 Elections



Greek nationals living outside of Greece may soon obtain the right to cast a vote from overseas. The Greek government on Wednesday announced its intention to grant nationals residing abroad the right to vote in the country’s elections, possibly as soon as the European Parliament elections which will be held in May 2019.

Speaking during the first session of a special committee set up for the purpose, Interior Minister Alexis Haritsis said that “It is our duty to go to all lengths necessary to secure for those people the ability to participate in the political life and public life of our country.”

He added the committee would conclude its report within five months at the most and if possible by January, as 2019 is an election year.

However, Greek daily Kathimerini points out that experts have expressed doubts as to whether it will be possible to finalize all the necessary details of the process by February, the deadline for any changes to be made to the electoral roll.

An estimated one million Greeks living abroad are eligible to vote, though ministry officials believe a significantly smaller number will exercise this right once it is granted.

Opposition party New Democracy has, twice in the past year, filed proposals calling for for the right of the diaspora to vote.