OPINION

Interim scenarios

The prediction by Development Minister Akis Tsochadzopoulos that parliamentary elections will be held again in April 2005 – in the event that the ruling party is unable to get its candidate elected as president of the republic – is hardly accidental. Neither can it be regarded a political slip-up in the sense that the minister foresees the defeat of the ruling PASOK party in elections on March 7. This is because, ccording to Tsochadzopoulos’s reasoning, opposition New Democracy will also feel the temptation to exact electoral revenge if it is beaten by a slim majority in forthcoming polls. However, the scenario of a brief, 12-month spell in power by ND is being discussed chiefly amid the ranks of PASOK simply because the ruling party – bombarded by predictions of its defeat – is preparing to deal with various eventualities. The questions posed by the above scenario are neither premature nor irrelevant to March elections. Tsochadzopoulos, and other PASOK officials and supporters who publicly project the eventuality of two parliamentary elections within 14 months, have two key aims. First, they want to add this eventuality to the criteria upon which the electorate will be casting their vote in a few weeks’ time. (After all, it is significant whether such a choice relates to a four-year term or to an interim government which will be reviewed after 12 months.) And secondly they want to ensure that if they are to be beaten this time, at least it will be a strategic defeat…