“We are determined to build a future free from the baggage of the past, to leave our own stamp,” Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said in Parliament on Thursday, wrapping up a three-day debate before the plenum on the government’s proposals for changing election law.
Tsipras noted that this was a significant day, since it was the first time that an election law tabled by the ruling majority goes beyond the ends that the ruling majority hopes for.
The prime minister defended proposals for lowering the voting age to 17, noting that this would give young people an incentive not to give in to depoliticisation but take their lives in their own hands.
He also noted that an initiative to establish legality in the television landscape was proceeding, despite the obstacles and reactions of the establishment.
“A part of your extreme behaviour may be due to the great nervousness displayed these days by these circles,” Tsipras said, addressing main opposition New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis.
Replying to Mitsotakis, meanwhile, Tsipras wondered how he was so sure he would find the 200 votes needed to abolish the new election law, once he was in power. “Will you work with Golden Dawn?” the prime minister asked.
Talking about the revision of the Constitution, the prime minister said that its aim was to protect democratic rights, protect public goods, protect the quality of the vote, enhance democratic participation and strengthen Parliament.
It was time to realise that a political cycle that began in 1974, with a two-party system, was ending, with Greece and Europe entering a new period, Tsipras said.
“Parties of 40 pct do not exist today. From the barren two-party system of the past we can pass to a fertile bipolarity with cooperation governments,” he said.
Again addressing the main opposition leader, Tsipras accused Mitsotakis of making every effort to prevent the tender for television licences from going ahead and “adopting the demands of intertwined interests” for elections once a decision to set the process underway was made, so that “we might go and they might escape.”
“You can be sure that neither will we go, nor will they get away with it. We will be here until 2019 and after 2019 with the people’s vote,” Tsipras said, while he also stressed that the Siemens trial will take place and a court ruling will be issued.
‘Today, simple proportional representation becomes a law of the state,’ PM tweets
In a tweet posted ahead of his speech in Parliament on Thursday night, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras noted that “A sustainable exit from the crisis will not be achieved without the democratic reform of the political system.”
“Today, simple proportional representation becomes a law of the state,” he added.