Independent MP Dimitris Kammenos was expelled from the Independent Greeks party after he broke the party line and voted yes in the no confidence vote against Alexis Tsipras’ government. Effectively, it was a vote against the signing of the Greece-FYROM agreement, as that was the rationale behind New Democracy’s no confidence motion.
Now, Kammenos is not only keeping his parliamentary seat, but he also intends to keep his post as Parliament Vice President, which he received as the representative of the Independent Greeks, as all parliamentary parties are entitled to a VP slot in the presidium of parliament.
Parliamentary VPs replace the Speaker when he is not in the chamber.
“I will preside (over parliament) in the coming days,” Kammenos, who only by coincidence has the same surname as party president Panos Kammenos, declared.
Panos Kammenos has suggested that his former MP was paid off to vote to topple the government, though there is no evidence to bolster the allegation.
The only way for Dimitris Kammenos to lose his post is to lose a no confidence motion tabled personally against him. That requires the signatures of 50 MPs, which the Independent Greeks party does not have. Moreover, the motion must state clearly and explicitly the reasons for the motion.
The debate on the no confidence motion must be held in one of the two following parliamentary review sessions, and the VP against whom the motion has been tabled has the right to orate for one hour.
For the motion to pass, an absolute majority of all members of parliament – 151 seats out of 300 – is required.
In his remarks on camera outside parliament, Kammenos answered his critics within and outside the party.
“It is unconscionable to believe that one must be paid off to vote in favour of our Macedonia. Our hearts are bleeding in this period, and it is best that everyone remain silent rather than speak.
“Once you baptise the child [North Macedonia] you cannot yell. The godfathers are forever guilty,” Dimitris Kammenos declared.