Snap polls edge closer

Pres­i­dent may not call lead­ers’ meet­ing, mak­ing Septem­ber 20 elec­tions likely

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

Pres­i­dent Prokopis Pavlopou­los may not call a meet­ing of party lead­ers to­mor­row be­fore ap­point­ing a care­taker prime min­is­ter de­spite pres­sure from op­po­si­tion par­ties to do so as cur­rent Premier Alexis Tsipras and his coali­tion part­ner Panos Kam­menos have in­di­cated that they would not at­tend the talks.

Kathimerini un­der­stands that in the face of the re­luc­tance from Tsipras and Kam­menos, Pavlopou­los may call the party lead­ers one by one to con­firm that there is no pos­si­bil­ity of a new coali­tion be­ing formed from the cur­rent Par­lia­ment be­fore trig­ger­ing the process for snap elec­tions to take place.

The Con­sti­tu­tion calls for party lead­ers to meet if there is no break­through dur­ing the ex­ploratory man­date, which is now in the hands of Pop­u­lar Unity leader Panayi­o­tis Lafaza­nis. New Democ­racy and Po­tami pub­licly called on Pavlopou­los to con­vene the meet­ing even if Tsipras and Kam­menos de­cide not to at­tend.

“The Con­sti­tu­tion de­mands that party lead­ers meet and if some peo­ple do not want to at­tend, their seats can re­main empty,” said New Democ­racy leader Evan­ge­los Meimarakis.

Meimarakis urged Tsipras to ex­plain why he is lead­ing Greece to its sec­ond snap elec­tions this year and pledged that if New Democ­racy wins the vote, he would in­clude non-party fig­ures in his gov­ern­ment.

“Let those who want to, come,” said Po­tami leader Stavros Theodor­akis. “But the Con­sti­tu­tion can­not be breached just be­cause it is some­body’s whim.” Theodor­akis also chal­lenged ri­val party lead­ers to a tele­vised de­bate.

Sources close to Pavlopou­los said that if the meet­ing does not take place, the pres­i­dent’s of­fice will make public the de­tails of which lead­ers said they would at­tend the talks and who said they would stay away.

It is ex­pected that af­ter this the care­taker gov­ern­ment will be sworn in on Fri­day and that Par­lia­ment will of­fi­cially close on the same day. If this is the case, it would still be pos­si­ble for the snap elec­tions to be held on Septem­ber 20.

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