As a result of “agonies” gripping it, the Greek government has brought forward the presidential elections and has called the parliament to anticipate the election of a new president.
The Greek government has called time on its mandate earlier than expected. As a result of “agonies” gripping it, the Greek government has brought forward the presidential elections. This comes on the heels of the announcement by the Eurogroup that it will extend the rescue programme, a decision the government is desperately trying to present as a victory.
The Samaras Venizelos coalition government decided to shorten the mandate of current president Karolos Papoulias by two months, adding the cry of the elections to the strains of Christmas carols, as the government’s spokesperson has just announced that the first vote will take place on 17 December.
If the first vote does not gain the required 200 votes, there will be a second round on 22 December, when backing is needed from the same number of MPs. If the required majority is still not achieved, there will be a third round on 29 December, this time requiring a majority of only 180 votes. If a new president has not been elected after the third round of voting, the Constitution states that legislative elections must be immediately announced for 30 to 40 days’ time. It is therefore highly likely that a general election will take place on 1 or 8 February 2015. The official statement given by government spokesperson Ms Voultepsi’s states that Mr Samaras and Mr Venizelos, having informed the president, asked the Speaker to bring forward the presidential election process and set the date of the first vote for Wednesday 17 December.
“December 7th’s vote in parliament on the budget showed that the government does not have the backing of a majority of 180 MPs required by the Constitution for the election of a new president. The decision – taken with the agreement of the Troika – to bring forward the presidential election is a desperate attempt to hide the new measures imposed by the latter and to blackmail MPs. They will not succeed. Holding the presidential election early is both an expected and welcome move, as it means a general election is just around the corner - the only hope of salvation for the country and its people.”
Source: SYRIZA France
Translation: Veronika Peterseil
Find the call to stop the interference of the European Commission in the electoral process by EL president Pierre Laurent here