Home / News / World /  Greece's parliament bans far-right Greek National Party from upcoming polls

Greece's Parliament has taken action to ban a far-right political party, the Greek National Party, from participating in the upcoming general election. The disqualification is based on the fact that the party's leader, Ilias Kasidiaris, is currently serving a 13-year prison sentence for being a former leading member of the neo-Nazi party, Golden Dawn.

Golden Dawn has been designated as a criminal organization by a court in 2020 for its violent campaign against migrants and ideological opponents.

The move to ban the Greek National Party has been supported by the Public Order Minister, Takis Theodorikakos, who stated that the government's decision was a response to the demands of the majority of Greek citizens.

The party, however, has denounced the parliamentary vote as a violation of the constitution and voters' rights, and has vowed to establish its own unofficial ballot boxes during the election.

The general election is expected to take place in April, with the governing centre-right New Democracy party leading in opinion polls, but unlikely to gain an outright majority.

If a stalemate occurs, another election is expected the following month when a new election law takes effect. Recent polls suggest that the Greek National Party would have received enough votes to gain parliamentary representation.

During the parliamentary debate, some lawmakers from the Greek Communist Party and a small right-wing opposition party, Hellenic Solution, opposed the amendment, arguing that it could be misused to restrict political activism in general.

(With inputs from AP)

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