Greek Parliament to Hold Presidential Vote for 2nd Time

Southeast Europe | December 23, 2014, Tuesday // 10:01|  views

Greek Vice President and Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos reacts during the first round of voting for the Greek President, at the Greek Parliament, in Athens, Greece 17 December 2014. Photo by EPA/BGNES

Lawmakers in Greece are to make on Tuesday a second attempt at electing the country's new President.

The legislature in Athens failed to elect a head of state on December 17, since the only presidential candidate Stavros Dimas, the nominee of government partners from New Democracy and PASOK, was backed by only 160 MPs, with at least 200 (a two-thirds majority) needed for the step.

If Tuesday's procedure fails again, the ruling coalition will try to secure the support of 20 more lawmakers in a third round, possibly on December 29.

Under Greece's constitution, if a President is not agreed upon in the third vote, early elections must be held within only a month, a move the radical-left coalition SYRIZA is eyeing to boost its parliamentary majority.

SYRIZA's popularity has grown tremendously over the past years due to its rejection of austerity measures that were part of the conditions for Athens to receive international assistance in solving its debt crisis.

The date for the first round was set just eight days ahead of the vote, which was initially planned for February 15.

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Tags: greece, parliament, president, New Democracy, PASOK, Stavros Dimas, Syriza


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