ATHENS – The major opposition New Democracy Conservatives are mulling asking for a censure motion against Parliamentary Speaker Zoe Constantopoulou after she kept interfering with speakers assailing her ruling party, the Radical Left SYRIZA.
New Democracy, which was trounced in the Jan. 25 snap elections after leading a ruling coalition since 2012, walked out of the House during a fiery debate over the country’s debt and unrevealed negotiations with international lenders.
New Democracy chief and former Prime Minister Antonis Samaras led the walkout after Constantopoulou kept belittling his argument, as Tsipras looked on quietly.
“We will not tolerate censorship against this party,” Samaras said in an angry tone before storming out.
“The Parliamentary President literally torpedoed the debate, while an awkward and silent prime minister stood by. New Democracy will never again tolerate such a performance coordinated by those who don’t seek help but division,” Samaras said in comments later, accusing Constantopoulou of breaching parliamentary regulations.
Her interruptions even led the moderate centrist To Potami chief Stavros Theodorakis to lash out and accuse her of “grading the speakers.”
“How can you ask for consensus from the opposition when you attack and debase it?” PASOK chief Evangelos Venizelos said, addressing the House speaker.
Samaras would not confirm whether a motion of censure against Constantopoulou would be submitted, though New Democracy MP Gerasimos Giakoumatos told Antenna TV that such a move may be likely after the Easter break.
“I am exasperated by her undemocratic behavior, and they way she’s going about it, she’s headed straight for dismissal,” Giakoumatos said.