Greek lawmakers banded together Friday to keep an extreme right-wing party out of the position of deputy parliament speaker, leaving one of the seven posts vacant rather than filling it with a member of a group many consider to be neo-Nazi.
Golden Dawn won 18 of Parliament’s 300 seats in the June 17 elections, taking nearly 7 percent of the vote and horrifying Greece’s mainstream political establishment as the country reels from an economic crisis. As an opposition party in the seven-party Parliament, Golden Dawn was entitled to field a candidate for the post of one of the seven deputy speakers.
In Friday’s vote, parliament elected six deputy speakers but left the last one empty, as Golden Dawn candidate Polyvios Zisimopoulos failed to receive the minimum 75 votes required for the post. He received 41 votes in the secret ballot — meaning that the party won the support of an extra 23 deputies from outside its ranks.
Golden Dawn described Friday’s result a “constitutional violation” and said it would take its complaint to a European Court.
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