Greek Parliament failed to elect President in the second round of voting

The Greek Parliament on Tuesday failed to elect Stavros Dimas as president of the Hellenic Republic in the second of three rounds of voting for the presidential election.

Dimas did not gain the support of 200 MPs needed to be elected in the second round, as 168 deputies voted in favour of his candidacy and 131 MPs did not support him and voted ‘Present’. Deputy Maria Kollia-Tsarouha was absent.

Parliament President Evangelos Meimarakis announced that the third round of voting will be held next Monday, December 29 at 12.00. In the third round, 180 votes are required for the election of the President. Following failure in the third voting to elect a president, the country goes to national elections.

Each deputy will be faced with the Greek people’s anxiety in the third round of the election for a President of the Republic, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras said after the end of the second round. Samaras also called on all deputies to consider their responsibilities and not lead the country to a national adventure.

Main opposition SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras in statements after the end of the second round of the presidential elections, said “Neither the parliament nor the people will offer to Mr.Samaras a blank cheque to continue the memorandum and to implement the prior actions of the austerity that cut the pensions, increase the price of the medicine and loot the society. The country will turn the page in the New Year. We will succeed with democracy, a strong mandate for real negotiation and optimism.”

Democratic Left (DIMAR) deputies refusal to vote for the government proposal on the presidential election translates into their refusal to contribute to the continuation of the current policies, DIMAR leader Fotis Kouvelis said in a statement on Tuesday after the conclusion of the second round of voting for a President of the Republic. “The place and the society need to turn the page. Political change is necessary,” Kouvelis added. Kouvelis also confirmed discussions with SYRIZA saying “I replied to Alexis Tsipras’ phone call,” adding: “We have asked for a policy framework agreement and an extended conference to discuss all issues of progressive governance.”

“The Greek people should be certain that hope returns. With Christmas and the country’s liberation from the policies imposed by the foreign conquerors. They have nothing to be afraid of. The smile will return,” Independent Greeks (ANEL) leader Panos Kammenos said after the end of the second round of the presidential elections.

“ANEL party is standing and will continue to stand on its feet,” he stated. He also clarified that there will be no leak from the Independent Greeks in the third round of the Presidential elections. He added that Independent Greeks deputy Maria Kollia-Tsaroucha was absent from the voting because of health reasons, clarifying that she remains adamant on her position not to vote for President.

“Before the stench of a system that cannot be cured, before the political exchange of the other parties, before the blackmails and government and main opposition SYRIZA’s delusions, the people can react with the organisation of their struggle, with the organisation of the popular alliance and with an even stronger this time Communist Party (KKE),” KKE secretary general Dimitris Koutsoumbas said after the conclusion of the second round.