A swift change of strategy by New Democracy. A swift change of strategy within Parliament. The main opposition party will vote no in all upcoming Bills in Parliament, if ANEL, as a government partner, does not support the Government. To this date, New Democracy voted in favor of whatever it deemed proper and beneficial for the country. This stance will from now on be a thing of the past.
The decision taken by the main opposition party to no longer offer support to the Government within Parliament was announced by the New Democracy rapporteur in Parliament, Mr. Kostas Gioulekas.
The reason for this was a sort of crash test in the House for the ministerial amendment that opened the way – as New Democracy circles believe – for the recognition of the "Turkish Union of Xanthi". In the amendment, New Democracy, Democratic Coalition, Centrists Union and Golden Dawn stated that they will vote against the amendment, while POTAMI stated that they will decide according to the course of the debate in Parliament, while the SYRIZA governmental partner, ANEL, requested the withdrawal of the relevant amendment.
Characteristically, Mr. Gioulekas, following the announcement of ANEL's intention to ask for the withdrawal of the relevant amendment, announced in Parliament that New Democracy will vote against each time the co-governing party does not vote in favor of government Bills. That is, New Democracy, as its representative stated in Parliament, will no longer tolerate and provide support to the SYRIZA – ANEL government, especially when it concerns issues that could lead to the loss of confidence to the government and effectively lead to the loss of the House majority.
"You can not be stepping into two boats at the same time"
"This government has reached two-thirds of its parliamentary life and we are still witnessing the strange balance between the two government partners." He characterized the cruel and indescribable situations of coexistence with serious contradictions between SYRIZA and ANEL. As he said, they "agree in general and disagree ala carte and on a case-by-case basis."
Mr. Gioulekas expressed the New Democracy's outright disagreement both at the political level and as an overall parliamentary practice. He also spoke that as the main opposition party from now on, whenever government partners disagree, it will not support the bills in Parliament, whether or not the party agrees or disagrees with the content of the draft law or of the amendments. "You can not come by stepping into two boats, at the same time.
We, in every amendment and bill, will put forward a negative stance, if you, as government partners have not reached a consensus between you. You can not come into the House and appear to support two different policies on a given issue, but on the whole appear to be united and to remain undisturbed."
According to New Democracy sources, "there can not be two parliamentary majorities. Either the government will enjoy a majority in parliament or it will not have one". "They are basing their power on the overall responsibility of other political powers and parties". "We will not take part in this game. The government needs to be able to operate in all aspects and in all circumstances of its political life. This amendment, according to New Democracy sources ND, has wider implications on a national level and they argued that the issue on hand has not been seriously considered by the relevant ministry.
It is the first time that a united front comprised of all the opposition parties is created against the Government, having as a common denominator, beyond the issues of national importance, the very attempt for the loss of the government's parliamentary majority.