Greece~, is preparing for new general elections two days after the center-right New Democracy party of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis won the national vote but failed to secure a majority in parliament. After the biggest opposition party publicly accepted — and summarily rejected — an invitation to try and form the country’s next government, a power-sharing agreement was mathematically pushed out of reach on Tuesday.
Mitsotakis quickly decided against forming a coalition and chose to hold a second election, which is scheduled on June 25. That would alter the voting process in a way that benefits the winning party and almost certainly give him an absolute victory. The 55-year-old Mitsotakis crushed his major rival by 20 points, garnering just over 40% of the vote on Sunday. He has pledged to maintain pro-business reforms, strict anti-illegal immigration measures, and strong defense spending as Greece emerges from a severe financial crisis a decade ago.
The first three parties are given up to three days each, as per the Greek constitution, to try and form a government before the legislature is dissolved and a fresh election is called. When President Katerina Sakellaropoulou presented the mandate for forming a government to the left-wing Syriza party on Tuesday, it was necessary for the party, which is led by former Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, to reject it. “The election result is a devastating shock for us, and I have no need to deny that. Unexpected and uncomfortable,” Tsipras told reporters following the meeting.
The third-placed center-left Pasok party, which formerly dominated Greek politics but saw its public popularity drop during the financial crisis and a string of harsh international bailouts, is now challenging the 48-year-old opposition leader. Tsipras affirmed that he was not thinking about resigning and pledged to continue fighting to attempt to weaken the influence of the conservatives.
New Democracy won 146 seats in the 300-member parliament, according to an official allocation made on Tuesday, falling five short of a governing majority. Syriza had 71, Pasok had 41, the Greek Communist Party had 26, and the Hellenic Solution, a right-wing organization, had 16. Nikos Androulakis, the leader of Pasok, publicly accepted the third and final offer to try to form a government later on Tuesday. He swiftly replied. Without the assistance of the first or second party, which had previously been ruled out, he would not have been able to make a workable proposal.
On Wednesday, Mitsotakis, Tsipras, and Androulakis are anticipated to consult with Sakellaropoulou about the potential of forming a caretaker administration to oversee the next election. In the event that endeavor is unsuccessful, a senior judge will be named caretaker prime minister. For the first time in more than three decades, a proportional representation system was used to hold the elections on Sunday. Election procedures will change to a pro-majority system for the following ballot, awarding the victorious party a so-called election bonus of up to 50 seats.
The assembly and dissolution of the newly elected parliament are the two most crucial procedural problems that will determine when the next election will take place.
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