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Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

The right-cen­tre coali­tion gov­ern­ment an­nounced that the pres­i­den­tial elec­tions, sched­uled to take place in 2015, will now get un­der­way next week, in a sur­prise move after se­cur­ing a two-month ex­ten­sion of its bailout pro­gramme.

The gov­ern­ment, that holds a thin majority in the 300-seat par­lia­ment, called on deputies to move quickly so that the vote to elect a new pres­i­dent could be­gin on Wed­nes­day, De­cem­ber 17.

The is­sue of elec­tions has cre­ated un­cer­tainty for months as fail­ure to elect a pres­i­dent would lead to par­lia­men­tary elec­tions and po­lit­i­cal in­sta­bil­ity.

Prime Min­is­ter An­to­nis Sa­ma­ras needs the support of op­po­si­tion MPs for his party’s can­di­date to win the pres­i­den­tial elec­tion.

Greek law stip­u­lates that par­lia­ment must be dis­solved and new elec­tions called if it can­not elect a pres­i­dent, which re­quires ap­proval by 180 of the 300 deputies.

Sa­ma­ras’s New Democ­racy-so­cial­ist Pa­sok coali­tion cur­rently has 155 MPs in par­lia­ment, but hopes to draw support from in­de­pen­dent par­ties to get the 180 votes for its can­di­date.

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