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GREECE
Vouli Ton Ellinon (Hellenic Parliament)

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GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE PARLIAMENTARY CHAMBER

Parliament name (generic / translated) Vouli Ton Ellinon / Hellenic Parliament
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Structure of parliament Unicameral
Affiliation to the IPU Yes
Affiliation date(s) 1890 - 1937
1947 - 1967
1975 -
LEADERSHIP
President Nikolaos Voutsis (M) 
Notes Elected on 3 Oct. 2015.
Secretary General Konstantinos Athanasiou (M) 
Notes Appointed on 6 Oct. 2015.
COMPOSITION
Members (statutory / current number) 300 / 300
PERCENTAGE OF WOMEN


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Women (current number) 59 (19.67%)
Mode of designation directly elected 300
Term 4 years
Last renewal dates 20 September 2015
(View details)
CONTACT INFORMATION
Address Hellenic Parliament
10021 ATHENES
(Export mailing lists)
Phone (30 210) 373 38 68
373 36 20
373 36 33
Fax (30 210) 373 36 16
373 34 24
E-mail interel@parliament.gr
Website
http://www.hellenicparliament.gr/

ELECTORAL SYSTEM

Parliament name (generic / translated) Vouli Ton Ellinon / Hellenic Parliament
Structure of parliament Unicameral
LEGAL FRAMEWORK
Electoral law 11 February 2004
Last updated: 15 March 2012 Presidential Decree (26/2012)
Mode of designation directly elected 300
Constituencies - 56 constituencies for 288 seats (48 multi-member constituencies and eight single-member constituencies)
- one multi-member nationwide constituency for 12 seats
Voting system Proportional: Party list system using an open list*.
*In accordance with article 72, paragraph 11 of Presidential Decree 26/2012 (electoral law), if general elections are held within 18 months of the previous elections, the provisions of Presidential Decree 152/1985 regarding the allocation of seats by closed list are reinstated and applied.

- Parties must obtain at least 3 per cent of the votes cast to obtain parliamentary representation.
- 250 seats are distributed in accordance with the Hagenbach-Bischoff system.
- The party obtaining the highest number of valid votes is entitled to 50 seats, allocated to candidates on its party list.
- Under certain circumstances, a majority vote is used to allocate further remaining seats at the national level;
- A simple majority vote is used in eight single-member constituencies.

Vacancies arising between general elections are filled by the "next-in-line" candidate on the same party list.

Voting is compulsory until the age of 70. Failure to vote is punishable by a prison sentence of between one month and one year, and loss of the offender's job (however, no one has ever been prosecuted).
Voter requirements - 18 years
- Greek citizenship
- full possession of civil rights

Disqualifications: these apply to citizens who are (i) convicted of particular offences listed in the civilian or military criminal code, (ii) subject to other prohibitions provided for in law; (iii) wards of court.
CANDIDATES
Eligibility Qualified electors
- age: 25 years or over
- Greek citizenship
Incompatibilities The main categories are:
- members of the armed forces and security service
- certain public officials or holders of public office
- directors of parastatal agencies or organizations
The Constitution provides a full list of ineligibilities (Article 56) and incompatibilities (Article 57).
Candidacy requirements - individual candidates or members of a political party
- presentation on an independent basis or under a party label, supported by at least 12 voters, or self-nominated.
- non-reimbursable deposit of 146.74 euros

LAST ELECTIONS

Parliament name (generic / translated) Vouli Ton Ellinon / Hellenic Parliament
Structure of parliament Unicameral
BACKGROUND
Dates of election / renewal (from/to) 20 September 2015
Timing and scope of renewal Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras' Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) and its junior coalition partner, the Independent Greeks (AnEl, led by Mr. Panos Kammenos), retained a majority in the 300-member Parliament. Together they took 155 seats, down from 162 in January 2015. New Democracy (ND) remained the second largest party after SYRIZA with 75 seats. Six other parties won seats in parliament. SYRIZA's splinter party, the Popular Unity (co-led by former Minister of Productive Reconstruction, Environment and Energy, Mr. Panagiotis Lafazanis and outgoing Speaker Zoe Konstantopoulou) failed to win parliamentary representation. On 21 September, Mr. Tsipras was sworn in for a second term and subsequently formed a new coalition government comprising SYRIZA and AnEl. During the election campaign, the major parties focused on economy and the new bailout agreement.

The September elections were the second snap elections in 2015. Mr. Tsipras came to power following the January elections, pledging to renegotiate the conditions of the country's EUR 240 billion bailout agreements with the European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund, and to abolish many of the austerity measures. On 27 February, the new Prime Minister obtained an extension of the second bailout until 30 June.

On 27 June, Mr. Tsipras called a referendum on the new bailout conditions proposed by the European Commission, stating they were unacceptable. The bailout included proposals to raise the age of retirement to 67 years old and to increase VAT. Over 61 per cent of voters rejected the proposed deal. However, following mounting pressure from his counterparts in Europe, on 13 July, the Prime Minister agreed to conditions similar to those proposed before the referendum in return for a bailout of EUR 86 billion over three years. On 16 July, Parliament passed an agreement to seek a third bailout with support from opposition parties. Around a third of SYRIZA members voted against or abstained from the vote. On 13 August, Parliament approved austerity measures required for the new bailout thanks to the support of opposition parties. Only 118 out of 162 members on the government side voted in favour. After losing his majority in Parliament on 20 August the Prime Minister announced his resignation. The President of the Supreme Court, Ms. Vassiliki Thanou, succeeded him in an acting capacity, thereby becoming the first woman Prime Minister of Greece. On 28 August, President Prokopis Pavlopulos dissolved Parliament and called for early elections to be held on 20 September.
Date of previous elections: 25 January 2015

Date of dissolution of the outgoing legislature: 28 August 2015

Timing of election: Early elections

Expected date of next elections: September 2019

Number of seats at stake: 300 (full renewal)

Number of candidates: 4,756

Percentage of women candidates: Not available*
*The Directorate of Elections did not publish the gender-breakdown for the 4,756 candidates.
There were 3,156 candidates for the eight winning parties of whom 1,105 were women, or 35%, according to the Directorate for Development & Support of Policies on Gender Equality.

Number of parties contesting the election: 19*
*14 parties and 5 coalitions

Number of parties winning seats: 8*
*Including one coalition

Alternation of power: No

Number of parties in government: 2

Names of parties in government: Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) and Independent Greeks (AE)

Date of the first session of the new parliament: 3 October 2015

Name of the new Speaker: Mr. Nikolaos Voutsis (Coalition of the Radical Left, SYRIZA)
STATISTICS
Voter turnout
Round no 120 September 2015
Number of registered electors
Voters
Blank or invalid ballot papers
Valid votes
9'839'809
5'566'038 (56.57%)

Notes
Distribution of votes
Round no 1
Political group Candidates Votes % of votes
Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA)
New Democracy (ND)
Golden Dawn (Chryssi Ayghi)
Democratic Coalition (PASOK-DIMAR)
Communist Party (KKE)
The River (To Potami)
Independent Greeks (AnEl)
Union of Centrists (EK)
Distribution of seats
Round no 1
Political Group Total of seats
Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) 145
New Democracy (ND) 75
Golden Dawn (Chryssi Ayghi) 18
Democratic Coalition (PASOK-DIMAR) 17
Communist Party (KKE) 15
The River (To Potami) 11
Independent Greeks (AnEl) 10
Union of Centrists (EK) 9
Distribution of seats according to sex
Men

Women

Percent of women
241

59

19.67%
Distribution of seats according to age
Distribution of seats according to profession
Comments
Sources:
Parliament (05.10.2015)
http://www.ekloges.ypes.gr/
Directorate of Elections (09.10.2015)
Directorate for Development & Support of Policies on Gender Equality (13.10.2015)

Note on the Distribution of seats:
The Democratic Coalition comprised the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) and the Democratic Left (DIMAR).

PRESIDENCY OF THE PARLIAMENTARY CHAMBER

Parliament name (generic / translated) Vouli Ton Ellinon / Hellenic Parliament
Structure of parliament Unicameral
APPOINTMENT AND TERM OF OFFICE
Title Speaker of the Hellenic Parliament
Term - duration: 4 years (term of House)
- reasons for interruption of the term: resignation, death, dissolution of the Parliament, adoption of motion of censure, incapacity on any ground for the discharge of his/her duties
Appointment - elected by all Members of the Chamber
- election held at the beginning of each parliamentary term
- after the Members' mandates are validated and after Members are sworn in
Eligibility - any Members can be candidate
Voting system - formal vote by secret ballot
- absolute majority is required
- if no candidate is elected in the first round, only the two candidates with the largest number of votes are admitted in the second round
Procedures / results - the interim Speaker presides over theChamber during the voting
- 3 Members of the Parliament supervise the voting (2 of them belong to the majority party, the third to the opposition)
- the interim Speaker announces the results without any delay
- the results cannot be challenged
STATUS
Status - ranks third in the hierarchy of State
- may be called upon to replace the Head of State in the event of the latter's absence
- represents the Chamber with the public authorities
- represents the Chamber in international bodies
- is the President ex officio of the Standing Orders Committee, the Parliament's Finance Committee, the Committee for Public Enterprise, Banks and Public Benefit Organizations
- in the absence of the Speaker, a Deputy Speaker can assume his/her role and functions
Board - the Bureau is composed of the Speaker, five Deputy Speakers, three Deans and six secretaries
Material facilities - same salary as the Members of the Chamber
+ special allowance (40% of the MP salary)
- official car
- secretariat
- police protection
FUNCTIONS
Organization of parliamentary business - establishes and modifies the agenda
- organizes the debates and sets speaking time
- examines the admissibility of bills and amendments
- refers texts to a committee for study
- proposes the setting up of committees of enquiry
- convenes the committees
Chairing of public sittings - can open, adjourn and close sittings
- ensures respect for provisions of the Constitution and Standing Orders
- makes announcements concerning the Chamber
- takes disciplinary measures in the event of disturbance, and lifts such measures
- establishes the list of speakers, gives and withdraws permission to speak
- calls for a vote, decides how it is to be carried out, verifies the voting procedure and cancels a vote in the event of irregularities
- checks the quorum
- authenticates the adopted texts and the records of debates
- interprets the rules or other regulations governing the life of the Chamber
- has discretionary power to give the floor outside the agenda and thus organizes impromptu debates
Special powers - introduces the Chamber's budget for debate and adoption
- recruits, assigns and promotes staff
- appoints the Clerk
- organizes the services of Parliament
- is responsible for relations with foreign Parliaments
- is responsible for safety, and in this capacity, can call the police in the event of disturbance in the Chamber
Speaking and voting rights, other functions - intervenes in the parliamentary oversight procedure
- transmits to the competent Minister extracts of the ratified minutes that include the text of the adopted bill

PARLIAMENTARY MANDATE

Parliament name (generic / translated) Vouli Ton Ellinon / Hellenic Parliament
Structure of parliament Unicameral
NATURE
Nature of the mandate · Free representation
Start of the mandate · When the results are declared (Art. 53 (1) of the Constitution of 11.06.1975, as amended in 1986 and 2001)
Validation of mandates · Validation by the competent Courts of First Instance according to the relevant provisions of the electoral law (presidential decree 351/03). Objections have to be addressed to the Special Highest Court (Art. 58 and 100 (1) (b) of the Constitution).
· Procedure (Art. 58 and 100 (4) of the Constitution, and the relevant provision of the electoral law.
End of the mandate · On the day when the legal term of the House ends - or on the day of early dissolution (see Art. 53 (1) of the Constitution)
Can MPs resign? Yes · Yes, of their own free will (Art. 60 (2) of the Constitution)
· Procedure (Art. 60 (2) of the Constitution): submission of a written declaration to the Speaker. The declaration is irrevocable.
· Authority competent to accept the resignation: the resignation need not be accepted.
Can MPs lose their mandate ? Yes (a) Loss of mandate by judicial decision: decision by the Special Highest Court:
- Loss of eligibility (Art. 55 and 100 (1) (c) of the Constitution)
- Loss of mandate for incompatibilities (Art. 57 and 100 (1) (c) of the Constitution)
- General procedure (Art. 100 (4) of the Constitution)
STATUS OF MEMBERS
Rank in hierarchy · Within Parliament:
1. The Speaker
2. The members of the Bureau
3. The Leaders of the Opposition
4. The parliamentary representatives of each party
· Outside Parliament: the official order of precedence ranks the Speaker in the 3rd position, the Leader of the Leading Opposition Party in the 5th position, the Leaders of the political parties represented in Parliament in the 12th position, the members of the Board of Parliament in the 13th position, and the other MPs in the 16th position.
Indemnities, facilities and services · Diplomatic passport
· Basic salary (see also Art. 63 (1) of the Constitution): 5,393.40 euros
+ Additional allowance for participation in meetings
+ Family allowance
· The basic salary is not tax exempt. The allowances are tax exempt.
· Pension scheme
· Other facilities:
(a) Secretariat
(b) Assistants (see also Art. 65 (5) and (6) of the Constitution): 2 civil servants, 1 assistant
(c) Official housing
(d) Security guards: 1 policeman
(e) Postal and telephone services (see also Art. 63 (2) of the Constitution)
(f) Travel and transport (see also Art. 63 (2) of the Constitution)
(g) Others: medical care of a high functionary

According to the Constitution and the Standing Orders (S.O.) of the House, candidate MPs, MPs and Members of the European Parliament submit their electoral expenses to a special parliamentary committee. Furthermore all MPs and MEPs submit annually a detailed declaration of their personal and family assets to this special parliamentary committee.
Obligation to declare personal assets Yes
Parliamentary immunity - parliamentary non-accountability · The concept does exist (Art. 60 (1) and 61 (1) of the Constitution).
· Parliamentary non-accountability applies to words spoken and written by MPs both within and outside Parliament, as far as there is a direct link of the expression of opinion or vote to the exercise of the mandate.
· Derogations: libel, after lifting of immunity (Art. 61 (2) of the Constitution), offence or insult (see Discipline)
· Non-accountability takes effect on the day when the mandate begins and offers, after the expiry of the mandate, protection against prosecution for opinions expressed during the exercise of the mandate.
Parliamentary immunity - parliamentary inviolability · The concept does exist (Art. 62 (1) of the Constitution, SO 83 of the Standing Orders of the House).
· It applies only to criminal and disciplinary proceedings, covers all offences and protects MPs from arrest and from being held in preventive custody, and from the opening of judicial proceedings against them.
· Derogations: in cases of flagrante delicto, when caught in the act of committing a felony, no leave is required (Art. 62 (4) of the Constitution).
· Parliamentary inviolability does not prevent MPs from being called as witnesses before a judge or tribunal. But see Art. 61 (3) of the Constitution.
· Protection is provided from the start to the end of the mandate, as well as, in the case of political crimes, between early dissolution of the House and the election of a new Parliament (Art. 62 (1) of the Constitution). It also covers judicial proceedings instituted against MPs before their election.
· Parliamentary immunity (inviolability) can be lifted (Art. 62 (1) of the Constitution):
- Competent authority: the Parliament
- Procedure (Art. 62 (2) and (3) of the Constitution, SO 83 of the Standing Orders of the House). In this case, MPs have to be heard. They do not have means of appeal.
· Parliament cannot subject the prosecution and/or detention to certain conditions.
· Parliament cannot suspend the prosecution and/or detention of one of its members.
· In the event of preventive custody or imprisonment, the MPs concerned might be authorised to attend sittings of Parliament.
EXERCISE OF THE MANDATE
Training · There is no training/initiation process on parliamentary practices and procedures for MPs.
· Handbook of parliamentary procedure:
- Standing Orders of the House
Participation in the work of the Parliament · It is compulsory for MPs to be present at plenary sittings and committee meetings (SO 76 (1) of the Standing Orders of the House). For leave of absence, see SO 76 (2) and (3) of the Standing Orders of the House.
· Penalties foreseen in case of failure to fulfil this obligation (Art. 63 of the Constitution, SO 76 (5) of the Standing Orders of the House): reduction of salary
Discipline · The rules governing discipline within Parliament are contained in Art. 65 (4) of the Constitution, and SO 77 to 81 of the Standing Orders of the House.
Code (rules) of conduct · This concept does not exist in the country's juridical system. However, there are some relevant provisions (Art. 57 and 100 (1) (c) and (4) of the Constitution).
· Penalties foreseen for violation of the rules of conduct: loss of mandate (Art. 57 and 100 (1) (c) and (4) of the Constitution; incompatibilities)
· Competent body to judge such cases/to impose penalties: the Special Highest Court
· Procedure (Art. 57 and 100 (1) (c) and (4) of the Constitution).
Relations between MPs and pressure group · There are no legal provisions in this field.

This page was last updated on 27 November 2015
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