The Legal Service and the interior ministry told MPs on Wednesday they needed more time to study a proposal to exempt parties’ political decisions from judicial scrutiny provided they were based on their charters.
The proposal had been tabled by Edek chairman Marinos Sizopoulos whose party is plagued by infighting and legal wrangling that have seen its electoral conference cancelled twice by a court.
Sizopoulos told reporters they will consult with the party’s legal advisers whether to obey the court order.
Speaking after a meeting of the House ethics committee, Sizopoulos said his proposal aimed to restore a provision that had been included in the law in 2012, which precluded judicial scrutiny of party decisions that were based on their charter.
The provision was removed in 2015 in line with the recommendations of the Group of States against Corruption (Greco), the Council of Europe’s anti-corruption monitoring body.
Sizopoulos said the recommendations only concerned financial administration and decisions relating to party finances and not all political decisions.
“We fully agree that there must be effective control of party finances across the board,” he said. “Yes, to financial transparency, yes to effective audit of party financial activities, but on the other hand, parties must be afforded protection to be able to function based on their charter in a democratic and transparent way.”
People with ulterior motives should not be granted the opportunity to create problems, he said, presumably speaking of his opponents within Edek.
He suggested that four injunctions in 20 days were the result of the electoral defeat certain people suffered in the district congresses.
“Before the risk of a final election defeat at the party’s regular conference, they prefer to resort to the police and the courts, thinking that they will humiliate the part. Its not the party they humiliate, its themselves,” he said.
The Edek chairman said his proposal would not affect current procedures if passed, but it aimed to prevent such issues in the future.