The Greek government decided to expedite all necessary procedures concerning the election of the President of the Republic.
Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and Vice President Evangelos Venizelos met at Megaro Maximou, shortly after it became known that the representatives of the Troika will be returning to Athens in order to complete the assessment of the program.
The decision came after euro zone finance ministers said they were in favor of granting Greece its request for only a two-month extension to its bailout program, a boost for Prime Minister Antonis Samaras who has been pushing for an early exit from the program which is deeply unpopular in Greece. As announced by government spokeswoman Sofia Voultepses, the two men, Prime Minister and Vice President, after informing the current President Mr. Charles Papoulias, asked the President of the Greek Parliament to begin with the procedures for electing the President of the Republic so that the first round will be held on Wednesday December 17 instead of February 15 as previously scheduled. Mrs. Voultepses also underlined the need for Greek authorities to focus on troika talks following a decision by the Eurozone officials to approve a short extension to Greece’s bailout and to curb political uncertainty.
Prime Minister Samaras needs the support of 180 lawmakers in the 300 seat chamber to scrape through the vote, support he does not currently have. Shall he fail to get his candidate for president elected on the first round, there will be a second round of voting according to the Greek Constitution which is set to take place on December 22 and if a third one is required it shall take place on December 27.
If however the coalition government, which has 155 lawmakers in parliament at the moment, fails to secure the level of support it needs to survive and elect a president the Greek law stipulates that this parliament must be dissolved and therefore new elections should be called.
Early Elections For Greece?
According to the Greek Constitution, if no candidate garners 200 votes in the first vote, a second vote follows five days later; if that is inconclusive, a third round is held with 180 votes needed for the election of a candidate. If the final vote is also inconclusive, snap general elections follow a month later.