Greek PM formally requests early general election

Athens, Dec 30 (IANS) Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras called on outgoing President Karolos Papoulias Tuesday to formally request the dissolution of the parliament and general elections Jan 25, after the failure of lawmakers Monday to elect the next head of state.

“I wish the best for the country,” Papoulias said when Samaras told him that the snap polls were “unnecessary”, pose risks for Greece and Greek people did not want them. But there was no choice.
“Greece’s position in Europe is at stake,” Xinhua quoted the conservative premier as saying, accusing the main opposition radical left SYRIZA party of serving party interests by pushing for polls at such a crucial time when Greece had started exiting the severe five-year debt crisis.
According to the latest opinion surveys, SYRIZA, which calls for a tougher renegotiation of bailout terms with international lenders, holds a small lead over Samaras’s party.
Papoulias was expected to issue a presidential decree Tuesday or Wednesday ordering the dissolution of the assembly and setting the date for elections.
Greece heads to national elections after parliament failed during Monday’s third and final voting round in two weeks to elect Papoulias’s successor. Under the Greek constitution, in such a case the next president will be elected by the new parliament once it convenes after the snap polls.