On September 16, at a meeting of the Internal Affairs Committee, final decisions are expected to be made on whether or not local government elections will be held next December. This was decided at a meeting of the Commission today attended by Interior Minister Nikos Nouris.
Nikos Nouris told the committee that by law, the closing of the electoral register is scheduled for October 2 and is not subject to change. He said that if Parliament decides to hold elections, this should be announced at least a week in advance, so that new voters have the right to register on the voter lists.
At the same time, Nikos Nouris noted that although the Ministry’s proposal in the reform bills is to extend the mandate of already elected local officials, he said the Ministry is ready to proceed with the elections. However, he said, these should be half deadlines, as the deadline set before the European Commission for the implementation of local government reform is May 2024. Otherwise, he said, the reform will be canceled and the disbursement of funds from the Recovery and Sustainability Fund would be endangered.
He said that the Ministry has no objection to the elections to be held until May 2024 with the clear condition that the reform bills be approved in advance.
“We can not accept in any way to take people to the polls without approving the bills,” he said, adding that candidates should know in advance that they have been elected by May 2024 and know that the municipality or community of after that date will be part of another entity.
He added that if the decision is to hold elections in December, those elections should be held on December 12, so if there is a runoff, it will be on December 19.
Committee Chairman Aristos Damianou suggested that MPs return to their parties for consultation and that the Committee return in seven days, in a special session, to make final decisions on the issue, a proposal which was approved.