The House legal affairs committee on Wednesday began discussion of a bill aiming to introduce recall elections, a procedure by which voters can remove an elected official from office through a direct vote before that official’s term has ended.
The legislative proposal, tabled by Citizens Alliance MP Giorgos Lillikas, would require gathering the signatures of 20 per cent of the electorate before a recall election or referendum can be held.
Subsequently, within one month of the signatures being collected, a referendum would be held on the issue of removing a particular official from office.
If the result comes to 50 per cent plus one vote in favour of recall, then within 45 days new elections for that office would be held.
This would apply to presidential and municipal elections.
According to Lillikas, during elections politicians enter into a social contract with voters, and thus should be held accountable throughout their term.
Speaking to reporters, the MP conceded that it would be difficult to gather the tens of thousands of signatures needed in order to initiate the process of removing the President of the Republic from office.
At the same time, he added, it would not be impossible, if a politician had completely lost the public’s trust.
Responding to questions, Lillikas dismissed the notion that his proposal, if implemented, might result in constant elections.
Over the past 10 years, he said, there were only two occasions which could have warranted recall elections: the explosion at Mari naval base in 2011, and the haircut on deposits in 2013.
“If the majority of the public do not trust the president and demand his resignation, why should he continue his term and ignore the public?” the MP said.
The proposal would also require amending the constitution.