Pre­lude to vote rolls on

Lafaza­nis takes over man­date from Meimarakis as Tsipras pre­pares SYRIZA

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

Panayi­o­tis Lafaza­nis, the for­mer energy min­is­ter who broke away from SYRIZA with 24 other MPs last week to form the rad­i­cal left Pop­u­lar Unity, yesterday re­ceived the ex­ploratory man­date from Pres­i­dent Prokopis Pavlopou­los with the count­down to elec­tions next month poised to be­gin.

Lafaza­nis called for the vote to take place af­ter Septem­ber 20 and for the par­ties to agree for pro­por­tional rep­re­sen­ta­tion to ap­ply. How­ever, the leader of the coun­try’s third-largest par­lia­men­tary group, which yesterday sub­mit­ted its doc­u­ments to the Supreme Court so it can be of­fi­cially rec­og­nized as a party, might not be able to se­cure ei­ther of these tar­gets.

He has to re­turn the man­date on Thurs­day, which means elec­tions could still be held on Septem­ber 20. There also ap­pears no prospect of the elec­toral law chang­ing.

The man­date was re­lin­quished by New Democ­racy leader Evan­ge­los Meimarakis yesterday af­ter he used it for the full three days al­lowed. Meimarakis in­sisted that a new coali­tion gov­ern­ment could be formed from the cur­rent Par­lia­ment but blamed his lack of suc­cess in this di­rec­tion on Prime Min­is­ter Alexis Tsipras for not meet­ing him over the week­end.

Lafaza­nis also asked for a meet­ing with Tsipras, which the SYRIZA leader de­clined. In­stead, the lat­ter ad­dressed a meet­ing of SYRIZA’s po­lit­i­cal sec­re­tar­iat to dis­cuss the party’s strat­egy for the up­com­ing elec­tion con­test. The mes­sage Tsipras sent out at the meet­ing is that he is not open to co­op­er­a­tion with the par­ties rep­re­sent­ing Greece’s es­tab­lish­ment af­ter the elec­tions.

His com­ments, which seemed aimed at New Democ­racy and PA­SOK in par­tic­u­lar, are part of SYRIZA’s strat­egy to drum up sup­port and en­sure it does not lose float­ing vot­ers to other par­ties.

Tsipras is ex­pected to have a hands-on role in draw­ing up SYRIZA’s can­di­date list, which is ex­pected to in­clude fig­ures who are not party mem­bers. The left­ist leader suf­fered a blow yesterday when SYRIZA sec­re­tary Tas­sos Koron­akis an­nounced his res­ig­na­tion and de­clared his dis­plea­sure with the gov­ern­ment’s ac­tions.

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