Greek parliament formally dissolved, elections Jan 25

Athens: The presidential decree dissolving the Greek parliament and the declaration of early general elections Jan 25 was posted on Wednesday on the doors of the parliament building’s main entrance in central Athens.

The move marks the formal inauguration of the election campaign which was expected to be tense, Xinhua reported citing analysts.

The outgoing conservative-led government and main opposition radical left SYRIZA party which leads in opinion surveys, hold diametrically opposite positions regarding the pending negotiations over the post-bailout relationship of Greece with its international lenders.

SYRIZA’s rhetoric about a tough renegotiation of the bailout commitments Athens has undertaken since 2010 in return of multi-billion euro rescue loans to avert default, has revived concern that the bailout, Greek economic recovery and membership in the euro zone could be jeopardised.

The snap national polls, 18 months earlier than the outgoing government’s term expires, come after the parliament’s failure to elect the next president of the Hellenic republic in a third vote Monday.

Under the Greek constitution, in such a case the next president is elected by the new parliament once it convenes after the polls.

According to the decree, the first session of the new parliament will be held Feb 5 and the process of the election of the next president is expected to begin by mid- February.