DIMAR says it will not back presidential candidate

Democratic Left (DIMAR) on Tuesday said that it will not be backing the coalition government’s candidate for president in three Parliamentary votes expected to start next week.

The party, which split from the coalition last year, said in an announcement that it will not contribute to “the protraction of the political deadlocks being pursued by the present government.”

The government needs to secure at least 180 votes in the 300-seat Parliament to get its candidate, Stavros Dimas, elected and to avert early general elections.

Coalition partners New Democracy and PASOK currently hold 155 seats and are relying on 17-18 votes from independent lawmakers. Without the support of any MPs from DIMAR, which has 10 seats in the house, the coalition will have to sway lawmakers from Independent Greeks, an anti-bailout nationalist party with 12 seats, whose leader, Panos Kammenos, has voiced his opposition to the government’s candidate.

The government announced on Monday that it will push up the presidential election to this month instead of February, presenting Dimas, a former European commissioner, as its candidate on Tuesday.