NEWS

ND wants elections right now

As PM Costas Simitis overturned the existing order in his PASOK party yesterday, the conservative New Democracy party, buoyed by another opinion poll showing it with an 8 percent lead, repeated its recent call for early elections. «The country can no longer endure to pay for the dead ends of the PASOK government. The only solution for the country is to have elections now,» ND spokesman Theodoris Roussopoulos said shortly after Simitis announced he had called for the resignation of all the members on PASOK’s Executive Bureau. A Cabinet reshuffle is to follow soon. But, as Simitis repeated yesterday, elections will be held when the government’s four-year mandate ends next spring. ND began calling for elections last Friday, saying that Simitis’s intention to shake up his party and Cabinet meant he had nothing to offer the country. Opinion polls have repeatedly shown ND enjoying an 8 percent lead over PASOK. The latest one, conducted by Metron Analysis nationally from June 13-29, showed this once again yesterday. If elections were to be held today, 38.4 percent of the 2,166 polled said they would vote for ND while 30.4 percent would vote for PASOK. Simitis, however, was seen as the more capable candidate for prime minister, getting 37.5 percent to ND leader Costas Karamanlis’s 35.7 percent. A source close to Karamanlis said Simitis’s move yesterday was «aimed at an honorable defeat» and was «not capable of changing the political climate.»