June 25, 2024

Athens News

News in English from Greece

Kasidiaris was sworn in as a member of the Athens municipal council and immediately sent on vacation…to prison

Ilias Kasidiaris was sworn in as an Athenian councilor, but immediately afterwards he was placed on leave and returned to prison.

The Secretary General of the Decentralized Administration placed him on leave due to his conviction for a first-degree crime. In particular, this decision deprives him of his position as a council member, and he will not be able to participate in city council meetings.

Following the swearing-in ceremony, Ilias Kasidiaris was transferred back to the Domokos maximum security prison, where he is serving a sentence for his involvement in the activities of the Chrysi Avgi (Golden Dawn) party. In essence, he is a political prisoner, since the process of convicting the party for the misconduct of one of the former party members can be called a political farce. Moreover, it took place with a lot of violations of the constitution, which was discussed not only by the lawyers of the accused, but also by representatives of lawyers – constitutionalists.

Let us remind you that in the October local elections, despite fierce opposition from the authorities, Kasidiaris received 8.33% of the vote and was elected councilor of the Athens City Hall along with another council member.

Ilias Kasidiaris’s desire to participate in political life has been evident for a long time, since he unsuccessfully tried to get into parliament, although he was in a maximum security prison. To prevent him from entering parliament, the government introduced a special ban on the participation of convicted persons in elections, even in the first instance, for which PASOK also voted, although this decision was clearly contrary to the Greek constitution.

However, Kasidiaris himself, after being excluded from the electoral process by a court decision, made a public statement in support of the political formation “Spartans”, which nevertheless entered parliament, despite numerous obstacles.

It has been argued that current legislation effectively nullifies any election for persons convicted of various offenses, as they are disqualified from holding office in local government. Thus, according to the same information, the government’s choice is to apply existing legislation, which does not prohibit those convicted of various offenses from participating in elections, but effectively cancels any elections, since they will never hold office in the local government, as they are immediately disqualified, which means any elections are cancelled.

According to the information, the fact that Ilias Kasidiaris is currently in prison and cannot conduct an election campaign in real time (excursions, speeches, etc.) played a role in resolving the issue of the lack of regulations. But this, however, does not mean that his participation in municipal elections, and even in the capital municipality, does not have enormous political significance for such an event.

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