PM of Greece Kyriakos Mitsotakis is speeding up the process to win an outright victory in the second elections likely to be held on June 25 by skipping his constitutional right to explore the possibility of forming a coalition government.
New Democracy won 40.8% of the vote versus 20.1% for the leftist SYRIZA, in a stunning boost for Mitsotakis, who has had to deal with a wiretapping scandal, the COVID pandemic, a cost of living crisis and a deadly rail crash that enraged the public.
But it fell short of the number of seats needed to govern on his own.
“I consider it is my duty to get past the hurdle of simple proportional representation as quickly as possible, and I am willing to return the exploratory mandate to you this afternoon so that we can hold elections, possibly on June 25th,” Mitsotakis said during his meeting on Monday with the President of the Hellenic Republic Katerina Sakellaropoulou, after receiving the first exploratory mandate for the formation of a new government following the elections.
Mitsotakis stressed that the country needs a strong government as soon as possible, with a four-year horizon, and insisted that “the best thing for the country is to discuss the real problems, how we will increase wages and how we will support the social state and to talk about the challenges and the issues that concern the younger generation”.
He called May 21 election result a “step advancing to maturity” and reiterated that the result makes it clear that the conditions for the formation of a government in the present parliament do not exist.
Mitsotakis talks to opposition leaders about second elections in Greece
The Greek PM contacted the leaders of the parliamentary parties on the phone earlier on Monday, in the context of the exploratory mandate for the formation of a government.
He spoke with main opposition SYRIZA-Progressive Alliance leader Alexis Tsipras, PASOK-KINAL leader Nikos Androulakis, the general secretary of the Communist Party of Greece, Dimitris Koutsoumbas, and the leader of Greek Solution (Elliniki Lysi) Kyriakos Velopoulos.
According to Mitsotakis’ press office, Mitsotakis repeated his position that the right conditions for the formation of a government from the present parliament do not exist and that he is willing to return the exploratory mandate later on Monday.
He also informed the party leaders that the government will propose an accelerated convening and dissolution of the new parliament in order for the next elections to be held on June 25.
After Mitsotakis, it will be the turn of Tsipras and Androulakis to receive an exploratory mandate for the formation of a new government. It is highly unlikely that the two opposition leaders will use the opportunity to start discussions.
“I understand that there is no scope for convergences or collaboration,” PASOK spokesperson Dimitris Mantzos told state broadcaster ERT on Monday. “I think we can proceed to the second elections.”
The new parliament is expected to be sworn in on Sunday, May 28, and will be dissolved on Monday, May 29.
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