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PM Samaras’ proposal: Trading “Presidential votes” for “Ministerial posts”?

It was certainly a proposal that would have an indisputable impact: the proposal of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras who urged for consensus in the Presidential vote and indirectly promised in exchange “ministerial posts” to those MPs, who would vote for candidate Stavros Dimas.

“After the presidential election, we can expand the government form with the participation of other persons who believe in the European perspective of the country, so that the next phase to find us more united,” PM Samaras said on Sunday in a televised address to the nation.

The message seemed to address mainly independent MPs – 24 in total – and some MPs from the centre-left Democratic Left. The party has 10 seats in the Parliament and will most likely fail to enter the Parliament again, according to public opinion surveys.

Samaras’ proposal was apparently more than “convincing” and 2 independent MPs (Oikonomou and Kourakos) rushed to declare that they will vote for Dimas.

The coalition government of Nea Dimokratia and PASOK has together 155 votes, it needs at least additional 25 votes to elect Dimas in the third round of voting and avoid snap elections in the first months of 2015.

In the first round of voting, Dimas received 160 votes, i.e. 155 from ND and PASOK and 5 from independent MPs.

Now the whole Greece is wondering whether if the cabinet had enough ministerial posts for all the lawmakers who will trade their vote for a position of power, fame and glory…

Some Greeks wonder, what will happen with the ND-PASOK ministers, should Samaras’ achieve to elect Dimas and then be obliged to redeem his promise and proceed with a cabinet reshuffle.

The answer seems quite simple: should the presidential vote fail to bring a positive result, snap polls are scheduled to either 25. January or 1. February 2015.  Given the fact that main opposition SYRIZA is expected to win the elections, many, very many, at least 50 MPs are expected to lose their mandate as ND will be deprived of the “50 Parliament seats bonus” that is granted to the political party that wins the elections.

Therefore, many ministers, deputy ministers and alternate ministers, a total of 48,  will gladly postpone their parliament exit until the end of 2015.

Sunday’s proposal of the Prime Minister included “Consensus on the presidential vote, conclusion of the negotiations with the Troika, a broader governing coalition and snap elections even at the end of 2015.”

Half of the Greek press speaks of “Samaras promises ministerial posts…”

PS I am not saying that the 48 current ministers will not be elected in the next elections, I just say that the losses for the coalition government parties will be big enough. “Trading presidential votes for ministerial posts” seem to be part of the rules of a hard and shrewd bargaining in politics.

My cat claims laughing, that this bargaining is called “horse-trading”.


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