Greek Parliament Fails to Elect President in First Round
The Greek Parliament failed to elect the country's President at the first round of voting on Wednesday.
The only presidential candidate Stavros Dimas, who had been nominated by the coalition government partners New Democracy and PASOK, failed to attract the necessary number of votes to be elected at the first round.
Dimas needed to attract 200 votes out of the 300-member parliament, but only 160 MPs voted in his favour, with 135 against him, while 5 were not present at the vote, the Greek Reporter announces.
Dimas, the personal favourite of Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, is former Foreign Minister serving during the term of Prime Minister Papademos, as well as former European Commissioner.
The Greek Constitution provides that further two rounds of voting are to take place, in case both of them are unsuccessful a general election will be held within a month.
The second round will take place in five days – on December 23, when the presidential candidate will again need to attract 200 votes in favour.
In the highly likely case that this vote will be unsuccessful again, a third round will take place on December 29 when the threshold for a successful outcome is 180 votes in favour.
In order to be successful at least at the third round, the coalition government will have to attract additional 20 MPs in support of Dimas, as it became evident in the first round that it can rely on 160 MPs.
The main opposition party SYRIZA, which is leading the latest opinion polls, has not nominated a presidential candidate, as it is actively seeking a general election.
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