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live Greece’s Parliament elects a President

17 December 2014 / 20:12:12  GRReporter
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Today at 7:00 pm the Greek Parliament started the procedure to elect the President of the Republic. The first election round ended minutes ago. Present in the hall were 295 members, 5 were absent. The deputies took part in a roll-call vote to confirm whether they support the government's presidential nominee Stavros Dimas, a former EU commissioner, or not. The meeting was chaired by Iordanis Tzamtzis, a deputy from New Democracy.

The results of the first round are as follows: 160 deputies voted "for" and 135 "against".

As is known, in order for Stavros Dimas to be elected head of state he must obtain 180 votes in the 300-seat Greek parliament. However, if the government fails to obtain the required number of votes and its candidate is not elected, the most likely scenario is early elections, probably in February.

As is already clear, after the first round, the candidate of the ruling coalition has failed to obtain the required number of votes to be elected.

Immediately after the first vote, chairman of Parliament Evangelos Meimarakis stated that the second vote will take place at twelve o’clock on Wednesday, 23 December.

After the results were announced, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras expressed his optimism that a president will ultimately be elected. In particular, the Prime Minister said,

"The first of the three votes for electing a President of the Republic was held today. Two more are to come. I hope that a President will be elected. The circumstances are difficult for Greece and I am sure the deputies realize that it should not be drawn into troubles. I also want to congratulate those deputies who overcame their doubts and voted for Mr. Stavros Dimas at the first try."

Stavros Dimas himself told journalists that he would make a statement after the third vote, which is scheduled for 29 December.

Deputy Prime Minister and PASOK deputy Evangelos Venizelos called for a consensus on the election of the President, hoping that it will be achieved by 29 December. Venizelos stressed once again that, according to his party, early elections would be harmful to Greece.

Opposition leader Alexis Tsipras also commented on the result of the presidential vote. In his opinion, he has shown the option of salvation of Greece and its people, referring to possible early elections.

Tags: Greek ParliamentPresidentElectionsStavros Dimas
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