NEWS

No early polls after vote win

The ruling New Democracy party repeated yesterday that it has no plans to call early elections after comfortably winning a no-confidence vote in Parliament late on Sunday. In a motion brought forward by the opposition, the conservatives defeated the Socialists’ motion by 42 votes in the 300-seat Parliament. The votes against the motion numbered 164 as opposed to 122 in favor. In response to journalists’ questions on when the government plans to hold elections, its spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos said they will be held when the government’s current term expires in March 2008. «The four-year term is decided by multiplying four years by 12 months,» he said. Official denial of plans to hold early polls has failed to dampen speculation on the issue, with local press reporting that the countdown to early elections has started. «The crucial question is how long the government can handle the double pressure of a pre-election year and the upgraded tactics of the opposition,» said political analyst Giorgos Sefertzis, according to Reuters.