THE Greek coalition government has once again failed in a parliamentary vote to elect its candidate Stavros Dimas as the new President of the Greek Republic.
Just 168 deputies voted for Dimas well short of the required 200. Dimas got the support of the 155 government deputies, plus 11 independent deputies and two ex-Golden Dawn (neo-Nazi party) deputies.
Last Sunday, Greek Prime Minister Samaras, in a special TV broadcast, promised an ‘extended’ new government, indicating ministerial and other state posts to be offered to those independent or other small parties’ deputies who would vote for Dimas.
Just before Tuesday’s vote yet another deputy resigned from the Democratic Left party and indicated that she would vote for Dimas. In the last few months, half of the Democratic Left party’s deputies have resigned from the party. Likewise ten out of the 22 deputies have resigned from the Independent Greeks party.
Last week, the Independent Greeks’ deputy Pavlos Khaikalis, a well-known actor, alleged that he was approached by middleman Yiorghos Apostolopoulos who offered him a 1 million euros bribe in order to vote for the government’s presidential candidate.
The Greek coalition government of conservatives and social-democrats hopes to lure as many deputies as possible to vote for the government’s presidential candidate on the third and final ballot set for midday 29 December where Dimas can be elected with just 180 deputies’ votes.
In the most likely event of a general election by early February 2015, following the failure of the Greek government to elect its presidential candidate on Monday, opinion polls show that the Coalition of the Radical Left party (SYRIZA) will come out as the clear winner.