Meimarakis re­sists rush to bal­lot box

New Democ­racy leader says he will pick up man­date and try to form a gov­ern­ment

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

New Democ­racy leader Evan­ge­los Meimarakis in­di­cated last night that he will use his party’s con­sti­tu­tional right to try to form a gov­ern­ment, even a mi­nor­ity ad­min­is­tra­tion, in a bid to avoid Greece hold­ing snap elec­tions next month.

“We will ex­plore all av­enues in an ef­fort to en­sure elec­tions are the last op­tion, not the first as [Prime Min­is­ter Alexis] Tsipras wants,” said Meimarakis, who added that he would speak to all op­po­si­tion party lead­ers, per­haps even in­clud­ing Golden Dawn’s Nikos Michalo­li­akos, and pos­si­bly the head of Tsipras’s coali­tion part­ner, Panos Kam­menos of In­de­pen­dent Greeks.

New Democ­racy’s de­ci­sion to ex­plore the pos­si­bil­ity of form­ing a new ad­min­is­tra­tion af­ter Tsipras re­turned his man­date last night is un­likely to bear fruit. Even with the sup­port of Po­tami and PA­SOK, the al­liance would have nowhere near enough seats for a ma­jor­ity in Par­lia­ment and would be un­likely to re­ceive any sup­port from other par­ties to op­er­ate as a mi­nor­ity gov­ern­ment.

How­ever, if the con­ser­va­tives use up the three days of de­lib­er­a­tions they are en­ti­tled to, the like­li­hood of the elec­tions be­ing held on Septem­ber 20 will di­min­ish. There will be an even greater de­lay if other par- ties de­cide to also use their three­day al­lot­ments as well.

Meimarakis ac­cused Tsipras of try­ing to “es­cape from his prob­lems” and the “ghost” of ex-Energy Min­is­ter Panayi­o­tis Lafaza­nis, who leads SYRIZA’s Left Plat­form.

MPs from the rad­i­cal group were said to be meet­ing in an Athens ho­tel last night and are con­sid­er­ing break­ing away from SYRIZA and form­ing their own par­lia­men­tary group.

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