Greece's New Parliament Sworn in - The Best from Greece
Posted on: 14/Oct/2009
Greece's new 300-member parliament that emerged from the October 4 general elections was sworn-in on Wednesday morning, in a special ceremony in the unicameral House.
The swearing-in took place after the traditional blessing, officiated by Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and All Greece.
"I swear in the name of the Holy Consubstantial and Indivisible Trinity to keep faith in my Country and in the democratic form of government, obedience to the Constitution and the laws and to discharge conscientiously my duties," the MPs pledged, with the exception of PASOK MPs Nikos Sifounakis, Maria Damanaki, Spyros Kouvelis and Maya Tsokli, and the MPs of the two Left parties, while the two Muslim deputies elected on the main opposition PASOK party's tickets in Xanthi and Rodopi took a similar oath with their hand on the Koran.
The MPs of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE), with the exception Liana Kanelli, did not take a religious oath, while the MPs of the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA parliamentary alliance) did not attend the religious party of the ceremony.
The KKE and SYRIZA parliamentary groups submitted letters to the parliament presidium endorsing a political oath instead of the religious oath, which is set out in the Greek constitution.
Ruling PASOK holds 160 seats in the new parliament, followed by main opposition New Democracy (ND) with 91 seats, the KKE with 21 seats, the Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) with 15 seats, and SYRIZA with 13 seats.
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