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Greek opposition parties unable to form alliance, new election expected 25 June




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Greece's main opposition parties rejected mandates to form a government coalition on Tuesday, setting up a second vote in June following an inconclusive 21 May vote.

The leftist Syriza leader Alexis Tsipras, and the socialist PASOK leader Nikos Androulakis returned to President Katerina Sakalaropoulou separate mandates that were offered separately.

KyriakosMitsotakis had previously opted to not form a coalition. His New Democracy party, which won 40% of the vote on Sunday, was beaten by Syriza (20.1%). He has now pushed for another vote, in an attempt to achieve a majority.

Tsipras claimed he was unable to form a coalition after many voters had turned away from Syriza’s radical anti-establishment, anti-establishment, style which had brought it to power in the turbulent years during the Greek debt crisis.

Tsipras' Syriza, which ruled between 2015 and 2019, told reporters outside the presidential residence: "I don't have any reason to hide the fact that the election result was a painful shock. It was unexpected.

"In my dictionary, I accept full responsibility for the result means to stand and fight."

The second vote will be tentatively held on 25 June. This is when the bonus votes system for the winning party could give New Democracy a majority to govern alone in parliament.

New Democracy is not able to join the opposition parties in forming a ruling coalition.


Sakellaropoulou will now nominate a caretaker administration.

Androulakis, PASOK's leader during a meeting between the Greek President and Androulakis, said: "Based on public opinion there is no space for convergences in our (political platforms). I will return this exploratory mission immediately."

Mitsotakis, before the election, said he wished to secure a comfortable majority for his party, stating that one-party governments are more stable than coalitions.

The split within the Greek left has been revealed by the defeat of Syriza. Syriza had called the second vote "the final battle". Two small leftist groups, founded by former Syriza Members, failed to secure enough votes for entry into the parliament.

According to electoral rules, if the second vote is held after an unsuccessful first vote, the winner receives up to 50 extra seats in the parliament. Mitsotakis would still be able to win a majority if he secured a second vote with 40% or less of the votes.

New Democracy must remain the largest party to receive bonus seats. This seems unlikely, given that its closest rival Syriza only received a fifth in votes on 21 May, but it is possible. Mitsotakis' total number of seats will depend, however, on how many other political parties are able to enter parliament.

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