Ahead of new elections: Greece gets an interim prime minister

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Ahead of new elections: Greece gets an interim prime minister

Status: 05/24/2023 5:33 PM

Because a government cannot be formed in Greece, there will be another election in June. Until then, the country needs an interim government. It is led by the President of the Greek Court of Accounts, Sarmas.

Ahead of new elections in June, Greece has got a temporary head of government: the great lawyer Ioannis Sarmas. The former head of the Court of Auditors was appointed by President Katerina Sakellaropoulou.

“It is a constitutional obligation and at the same time my duty as a citizen to accept it,” Sarmas said. He is scheduled to form a government that will lead the country until the new parliamentary elections on June 25.

It is clear that Mitsotakis won the elections, but this is not enough for a one-man government. Now there are new elections.
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Coalition building rejected by the parties

Sakellaropoulou initiated the constitutional steps for new elections. This became necessary because the results of Sunday’s parliamentary elections made it impossible to form a government. Sakellaropoulou received the leaders of the five parliamentary parties in Athens to discuss whether a coalition might be possible. The meeting was a formality and lasted only half an hour – the politicians had already refused to form a coalition in the past few days.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ conservative Nea Demokratia (ND) party emerged as the clear winner from the election with 40.8 percent. The largest opposition party, the left-wing party of Alexis Tsipras, suffered significant losses and ended up with 20 percent. The PASOK Social Democratic Party reached eleven percent.

A major alliance between ND and Syriza was ruled out for political reasons – the two parties are thematically and ideologically too far apart. The other parties either do not want or cannot meet.

The winner of the election is the incumbent Prime Minister Mitsotakis – but new elections are still likely.
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Mitsotakis is counting on new elections

Prime Minister Mitsotakis has also declared that he wants to rule alone. There is a special feature of Greek election law that makes this theoretically possible: in the next elections, likely to take place on June 25, the strongest party will get at least 20 more seats in the 300-seat parliament. If the ND achieves a similarly high result in the first election, it will have an absolute majority.

Mitsotakis is now counting on the new elections and hopes, thanks to the system of additional seats, that he will gain enough majority to form a government with his party alone as before.

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