Snap polls edge closer

Snap polls edge closer

President Prokopis Pavlopoulos may not call a meeting of party leaders on Thursday before appointing a caretaker prime minister despite pressure from opposition parties to do so as current Premier Alexis Tsipras and his coalition partner Panos Kammenos have indicated that they would not attend the talks.

Kathimerini understands that in the face of the reluctance from Tsipras and Kammenos, Pavlopoulos may call the party leaders one by one to confirm that there is no possibility of a new coalition being formed from the current Parliament before triggering the process for snap elections to take place.

The Constitution calls for party leaders to meet if there is no breakthrough during the exploratory mandate, which is now in the hands of Popular Unity leader Panayiotis Lafazanis. New Democracy and Potami publicly called on Pavlopoulos to convene the meeting even if Tsipras and Kammenos decide not to attend.

“The Constitution demands that party leaders meet and if some people do not want to attend, their seats can remain empty,” said New Democracy leader Evangelos Meimarakis.

Meimarakis urged Tsipras to explain why he is leading Greece to its second snap elections this year and pledged that if New Democracy wins the vote, he would include non-party figures in his government.

“Let those who want to, come,” said Potami leader Stavros Theodorakis. “But the Constitution cannot be breached just because it is somebody’s whim.” Theodorakis also challenged rival party leaders to a televised debate.

Sources close to Pavlopoulos said that if the meeting does not take place, the president’s office will make public the details of which leaders said they would attend the talks and who said they would stay away.

It is expected that after this the caretaker government will be sworn in on Friday and that Parliament will officially close on the same day. If this is the case, it would still be possible for the snap elections to be held on September 20.

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