Largest Opposition Party in Greece Will Attempt to Avoid Early Elections

Southeast Europe | August 21, 2015, Friday // 08:29|  views

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras (R), followed by ministers, enters the Presidential Palace for a meeting with Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos in Athens, Greece, on 20 August 2015. Photo: EPA

The largest opposition party in the Greek Parliament will attempt to form a government, even a minority one, in order to avoid the holding of early elections.

The leader of New Democracy Evangelos Meimarakis announced on Thursday that he will use the constitutional right of his party to form a government.

The statement of Meimarakis came as a response to the announced resignation of Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras earlier on Thursday.

The opposition leader made it clear that his party will attempt everything to “ensure elections are the last option, not the first as Tsipras wants”, daily Kathimerini informs.

Meimarakis assured that he will hold conversations with all opposition parties, perhaps even including Golden Dawn and the junior coalition partner of Tsipras – Independent Greeks.

However the likelihood of forming a new government is unlikely to succeed as even with the support of To Potami and PASOK, the coalition will be far away from gaining a parliamentary majority.

Similarly, the idea of a minority government is unlikely to receive the support from the other parties.

Meimarakis accused Tsipras of trying to “escape from his problems” and the “ghost” of former Energy Minister and leader of the Left Platform of SYRIZA Panagiotis Lafazanis.

It is expected that the MPs from the radical left faction of SYRIZA, who have consistently opposed the agreement of the third bailout programme, will break away and form their own parliamentary group.

Earlier on Thursday, Tsipras announced his resignation after the mounting dissent within the main ruling party over the new bailout agreed with the country's international creditors.

It is expected that the leader of SYRIZA will propose the holding of elections at the earliest possible date – September 20.

The Greek Constitution provides the right of the three largest parties up to three days each to try to form a government.

In case the parties fail to form a government or decide not to use their right, a caretaker prime minister will be appointed to serve until the elections.

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Tags: greece, early elections, Syriza, New Democracy, golden dawn, Independent Greeks, To Potami, PASOK, Alexis Tsipras, Evangelos Meimarakis, bailout, creditors, resignation, Panagiotis Lafazanis


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