With a negative result on the election of a new Greek President concluded the first round of voting by the Greek Parliament a few minutes earlier. The only candidate nominated by the coalition government partners, New Democracy and PASOK, and Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras’ favorite, is the former Foreign Minister of the Papademos administration, and former EU commissioner, Stavros Dimas.
‘Yes’ to Dimas’ election voted a total of 160 MPs, while 135 blank votes opposed the election. Five MPs were not present during the vote.
During this first round, at least 200 votes were needed in order to elect a new President. The procedure will be repeated on December 23, in five full days – as the Greek Constitution declares. During the second round, 200 votes are again necessary for Dimas’ election, although this scenario is considered impossible and the election will finally go to a third round where 180 votes are required. The third and more critical Greek parliament vote will be held on December 29.
With 160 votes in the first round, the Greek coalition government is seeking at least 20 additional MPs willing to vote for Dimas in order for the country not to be be driven to snap general elections. The Greek Constitution states that if a President is not elected, the country must hold general elections within a month.
The main opposition party leading the latest polls, SYRIZA, has not nominated any candidate for the Presidency of the Hellenic Republic as it actively asks for general elections.