EU Greens hail 'historic' win in British poll, urge vote reform
EU Greens on Friday hailed a "new era" after British Green leader Caroline Lucas secured her party's first ever seat in the national parliament, but called for reform of the "unjust" electoral system.
Hailing the "historic win" in Thursday's British general election, European Greens co-leaders Rebecca Harms and Daniel Cohn-Bendit congratulated her on her "well-deserved victory" in the Brighton constituency on England's south coast.
"This is the latest example of a Green success in national elections in Europe," the pair said in a joint statement. Just weeks ago, the Green Party in Hungary (LMP) entered the parliament there for the first time.
Lucas's win at the polls allows the Greens to "take their rightful place in Westminster, so long denied by an unjust electoral system," Harms and Cohn-Bendit added.
"We call for a reform of the electoral system, so that in the future all relevant political forces are represented in Westminster."
If Britain applied proportional representation to its election results, they argued, then the British Greens results in the 2009 European parliamentary elections would have translated into some 60 MPs.
While Green parties are a feature in many European legislatures and have been in coalition governments in Germany, France, Belgium, Finland and Ireland, they have never before held a seat in Britain's elected lower House of Commons.
Lucas, 49, has been a member of the European Parliament for the South East England region since 1999.
Thursday's election gave the opposition Conservatives the most seats in the House of Commons, but they fell short of the arithmetic needed to form an automatic majority government.
© 2010 AFP