Constitutional Committee Approves Grass-Roots Democratic Measures
The Parliament's Constitutional Committee has given its support to a number of measures aimed at opening Parliament to new political parties and independents.
One motion, if accepted by Parliament, will eliminate the need to pay a deposit equal to two minimum salaries for each candidate running for Parliament as part of a party less than four years old. Currently all candidates must pay the bond (currently at 710 euros), which will be returned if the candidate is elected or receives at least half the votes needed for a mandate.
A second idea, also approved in committee, was to decrease the number of votes needed for an independent candidate to be elected to Parliament by 25 percent.
The committee rejected a motion to decrease the threshold of Parliamentary representation from 5 to 4 percent of the popular vote, and it also said no to a change which would allow candidates to submit 1,000 signatures instead of the bond.
The changes to the Parliament Election Act will be debated on April 24.
A number of previously debated changes to the law are also in the works, such as increasing funding for smaller parties and limiting political ad spending.