Local election vote by foreign nationals unconstitutional, CoS finds

The Council of State, Greece's highest administrative court, on Wednesday judged that a law allowing non-Greeks to vote but also run for office in local government elections is unconstitutional. It also rejected sections of the 2010 law that 'naturalised' non-Greeks that are permanently resident in the country.

The court found that based on the Constitution only Greek citizens had the right to run for office or vote in prefecture and municipal elections, barring all foreigners, and that the law could not apply unless the relevant article of the Constitution was amended.

The case has now been referred to the CoS plenum for a final decision.

In a later reaction, government spokesman Giorgos Petalotis merely noted that the CoS plenum will now rule on the issue, while at the same time defending the law.

Petalotis added 10,000 to 12,000 non-EU foreign nationals voted in October's municipal and regional elections, of which 7,000 were identified as repatriated ethnic Greeks. No non-EU foreign national was elected to office.

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