July 21, 2024

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Greece court bans far-right party from running in May elections | Election news

Greece court bans far-right party from running in May elections |  Election news

The Greeks (Helen) party is the first party to be excluded since democracy was restored in 1974.

The Supreme Court of Greece agreed to ban the participation of the far-right Greek party (Hellenis) in the country’s upcoming general elections, which are scheduled for May 21.

The court assembly on Tuesday ruled by a majority of nine to one in favor of the amendments adopted by Parliament in February, which exclude parties led by politicians convicted of serious crimes, as well as those that “do not serve freedom of action.” [Greece’s] Democratic constitution. “

Under the terms, imprisoned former lawmaker Ilias Kasidiaris and his Greek party will not be allowed to take part in the vote, despite voting above the 3 percent threshold required to gain representation in parliament.

The ban, widely supported by Greece’s main political parties, was upheld despite a last-minute change in the leadership of the Greek party.

Former assistant Supreme Court prosecutor Anastasios Kanellopoulos, 75, replaced Kasidiaris last month as leader of the Greek party and announced plans to revise the party’s charter.

The decision could affect the outcome of the election, as the winning party is likely to have an easier time forming a new government with fewer parties represented in the national legislature.

Conservative Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis is seeking a second term in the elections. His centre-right New Democratic Party (Néa Dimokratía) is leading in the polls, but is unlikely to score an outright victory.

The nationalist leader, Kasidiaris, founded the Greeks party after receiving a 13-year prison sentence in 2020. He was convicted as a leading member of the far-right party, Golden Dawn (Chrissy Avgy), for the murder of anti-fascist rapper Pavlos Fyssas and other crimes including murder Assault and management of a criminal organization.

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He was sentenced to 13.5 years in prison, but he communicated with his supporters via audio messages from prison and a YouTube channel with more than 120,000 followers.

“coup against democracy”

In an online post after the change of leadership, Kasidiaris welcomed Kanellopoulos’ candidacy, adding that he intends to seek a parliamentary seat in next month’s elections. Greek law allows most prison inmates to retain their political rights.

Before the verdict, he denounced an “unimaginable coup against democracy” by those trying to deny a vote to “hundreds of thousands of voters” who supported his party.

“There should be no room for knife-wielding criminal and neo-Nazi organizations to deceive the Greek justice system,” government spokesman Giannis Oikonomou told Skai TV last month.

“There is an adequate framework to deny any criminal organization – no matter what mantle it chooses to wear – [opportunity] To ask for a vote of the citizens… but we remain on standby to do nothing [legal] “Changes required,” Oikonomou said.

Banning a party from Greek elections is believed to be the first since democracy was restored in 1974 after the military dictatorship.