New Democracy and SYRIZA Heading to Presidential Vote with an Eye on Snap Elections


January 25 or February 1 have emerged as the possible dates for the conduction of snap general elections in Greece if the coalition government fails to attract the 180 needed MP votes for the election of the new President of the Hellenic Republic, although this is a scenario Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and his governmental partner Evangelos Venizelos want to avoid at any cost, as they would not want to see the country enter a prolonged pre-elections period.

Even though the Greek Premier has “operation 180” primarily in mind, aiming to attract as many voters as possible for his proposed Presidential candidate, Stavros Dimas, at the same time examines the broader strategy in case the current Parliament is dissolved and snap elections are launched. During his speech at the annual event of the National Confederation of Greek Commerce (ESEE) yesterday, as well as in his speech to New Democracy’s parliamentary group today, he underlined the threat of possible snap elections, repeating again his worries that if main opposition party SYRIZA comes to power, the country will find itself outside the Eurozone and return to the Drachma. “I do not have the right to risk – even to the minimum degree – the long effort of the Greek government and especially the Greek people. I am obliged to take into account the general interest in my political choices,” he underlined.

On the contrary, SYRIZA is directed to the proposal of another Presidential candidate in case the country is finally driven to elections, as Dimas is characterized as a “narrow” choice of ruling New Democracy. “Let us not forget that Mr. Dimas is the Vice President of New Democracy. It is a party nomination, aiming to strengthen this particular audience,” SYRIZA spokesman Panos Skourletis noted.

At the same time, and with the certainty that the necessary majority of 180 MPs is impossible to be achieved, the main opposition party inaugurated yesterday the beginning of the pre-elections period with the Political Committee’s meeting.