Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Monday wrote a letter to Parliament President Nikos Voutsis, asking him not to make any changes to House regulations relating to the composition of parties.
This comes after he was accused by the political opposition of trying to save former coalition partner, Independent Greeks (ANEL) leader Panos Kammenos.
Voutsis’ initiative is to hold a discussion with party representatives on the issue that has arisen with the MPs that were elected with a specific parliamentary group to which they no longer belong, either by becoming independent or transferred to another party.
The Prime Minister has called upon the Parliament President ” initiative to change the current regulation, not even a punctuation mark.” As the Prime Minister underlined: “I do not wish to allow anyone to make use my democratic sensitivity to slander me.”
The letter in full is as follows:
“Dear Mr President,
You will remember that during our contact last week, I expressed my concern over political and regulatory incongruity in relation to parties that have been elected to parliament with the vote of the Greek people but in the process lose the required number of deputies and hence the right to form a parliamentary group.
And the incongruity arises from the fact that the law itself stipulates that, regardless of the number of MPs, the time dedicated by the National Council of Radio and Television for the promotion of the parties, as well as their state funding, remains – and rightly – the same, in correlation with the popular vote, while in parliament, the leaders of these parties lose privileges, including their speaking time during the parliamentary procedure.
Following our discussion and after sharing my thoughts, you have rightly taken the initiative to discuss this issue with party representatives in order to find the broad consensus that is needed to correct this irrationality.
To my surprise, however, in the last few days I have been seeing that, particularly the main opposition, but also opposition parties, along with sections of the media, are treating a justified democratic sensitivity with incredible hostility. Some have even stooped to arguing and presenting the prime minister as blackmailed.
Following this, and since I have never been blackmailed by anyone, and since I do not wish to allow anyone to use my democratic sensitivity to slander me, I urge you to not take any initiative to change the current regulation, not even a punctuation mark.
And concerning any ambiguity in the current regulation, I would urge you to ask for the opinion of the Scientific Committee of Parliament.