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Greek Opposition SYRIZA Boycotts Parliament, Calls for Snap Elections

SYRIZA parliament
Alexis Tsipras called for the immediate dissolution of Parliament. Credit: AMNA

Greek main opposition SYRIZA announced on Tuesday that it will boycott the Greek Parliament, a move slammed by the government which accused its leader Alexis Tsipras of “undermining parliamentary democracy.”

Tsipras accused the conservative New Democracy government of being “morally and politically compromised,” over the wiretapping scandal.

“It cannot remain a moment longer,” he told a press conference in Athens. “We are asking for the immediate dissolution of Parliament and the declaration of elections in three weeks’ time.”

Tsipras said his party will, effective immediately, be abstaining from all parliamentary procedures until the prime minister announces a date for the general elections.

“We declare that the longer Mr. Mitsotakis refuses to do what must be done, putting all he has committed against democracy and the rule of the law to the judgment of the Greek people, SYRIZA will not sanction the legislative work of a government of transgression,” he said.

The leftist leader called the press conference a few days after the government survived a no-confidence motion submitted by SYRIZA over the prime minister’s handling of the wire-tapping scandal, with 156 New Democracy votes in the 300-seat House.

“The irrefutable evidence about the surveillance carried out by EYP [the National Intelligence Service], with the responsibility of the prime minister, against the military leadership, ministers, the head of a political party, European MPs and journalists, as well as the outcome of the three-day debate in Parliament on the censure motion submitted by SYRIZA have created a new set of facts that cannot be ignored,” he said.

“We are transferring the censure motion to the Greek people – the ultimate judge,” he said.

Tsipras said the only exception to SYRIZA’s walkout will concern a bid to prevent the new far-right nationalist party founded by convicted former Golden Dawn MP Ilias Kasidiaris from running in the elections.

Tsipras and SYRIZA “exponents of Trumpism” in Greece

Government spokesman Giannis Economou described Tsipras as “dangerous” and emphasized that the leader of SYRIZA questions the institutional pillars of the Hellenic Republic which are based on popular sovereignty, the parliament and the constitutional order.

Economou said that Tsipras has failed to censure the government on Friday and now “as the rules of the Republic do not serve him, he acts as a genuine exponent of Trumpism in Greece,” undermining democratic institutions.

“He is trying again, after 2015, to lead Greece outside the European democratic acquis and make it a third-world country, like the ones he admires,” Economou claimed.

“Involved and with a totalitarian mentality, Mr. Tsipras did not consider that all those who harmed the Republic, during our political history, started the diversion projects by attacking parliamentary democracy and trying to delegitimize the functioning of the Parliament. Today, Mr. Tsipras appears as their successor.

“He is, and will remain, hopelessly alone in his downfall,” Economou added.

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