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Greek PM Calculates Potential Votes for Presidential Election

samar-dimasGreek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras had all-night talks with key New Democracy MPs in order to find who can vote for his presidential nominee among independent and opposition party MPs. The first presidential ballot will take place at 7:00 pm today.
Allegedly, New Democracy MPs are approaching independents and lawmakers from the Democratic Left and Independent Greeks (ANEL) in order to persuade them to vote in favor of presidential nominee Stavros Dimas. However, the approach is indirect so that they won’t be accused of putting pressure on them. ANEL president Panos Kammenos has already accused Samaras of that.
So far, in coalition circles they say that they have secured 165 votes: 155 from New Democracy and PASOK and 10 from other lawmakers. They need 15 more for the third and final ballot. At the moment it seems very hard for Samaras to reach the desired number of votes for the third ballot on December 29.
Several independent MPs who belong to the center-right met yesterday evening to discuss their stance in the presidential vote. One of them, Yiannis Kourakos, had stated earlier in the evening that he “will vote for president if the prime minister can convince him that he doesn’t want premature elections.” Allegedly, the independent MPs will make a formal proposal for the formation of an emergency government with representatives from all parties.
Samaras said he doesn’t want to promote scenarios of an all-party government. The same applies for SYRIZA chief Alexis Tsipras who sees his party having a solid lead in opinion polls and pushes for general elections.
Analysts say that there is always the possibility that the nominee might change for the third and crucial ballot and that the new nominee might persuade undecided MPs to vote in favor. The Greek premier insists that Dimas will be on the third ballot too.

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