The second round of voting for Greece’s next President starts today, 12 o’ clock noon time sharp. The coalition government of Nea Dimokratia and PASOK lowers the cubit of its expectations in order to avoid the repeat of the unpleasant surprise of the first round.
On December 17th, Presidential candidate Stavros Dimas and the coalition government managed to receive 160 votes only from the 200 needed. The votes came: 155 from ND and PASOK and 5 from independent MPs. The government’s expectations were 163-165 votes.
The second round of voting takes place in the shadow of an attempted bribe scandal and a speech by Prime Mnister Antonis Samaras who implied to give “ministerial posts” to those who will vote for Stavros Dimas.
After Samaras’ speech on Sunday, 3 independent MPs declared that they will vote for Dimas. A day earlier, another independent MP had declared his support for the presidential candidate.
Based on the “support declarations” and the results of the first round of voting, Stavros Dimas is expected to receive today at least 164 votes:
155 from ND + PASOK
5 from independent MPs from the first round of voting
4 from independent MPs who have declared support
According to Greek media, the government expectations vary between 168 and 170 votes.The government hopes to gain some extra votes from MPs of Democratic Left and Independent Greeks and two former Golden Dawn MPs who are independent.
Some MPs from nationalist Independent Greeks may decide to vote for Dimas, after the attempted bribe scandal of IndepGreeks MP Pavlos Haikalis run in the sand and the prosecutor decided to shelve the case on Monday evening.
Also at least three MPs from center-left DemLeft might vote in favor of Dimas, as rumors of the latest 48 hours claim that the party is going to be dissolved.
+++ MP Niki Founta left the Democratic Left at 11:48 a.m. and joined the group of independent MPs. She reportedly said that she will vote “Present” today and await for some further message by PM Samaras before the third round.
+++ MP Thomas Psyrras also abandoned the Democratic Left 2 minutes before the starting of the voting. It is not clear, how he will vote.
The Presidential candidate needs 200 votes in the first and second round of voting and only 180 in the third round that is scheduled to take place on December 29th 2014.
If the government fails to elect the President, the Parliament is been dissolved and snap elections are being proclaimed.
Opposition parties SYRIZA, KKE, Independent Greeks, Golden Dawn and Democratic Left have declared to vote against Stavro Dimas.
Roll call procedure
300 lawmakers will be asked to vote in a roll call either for sole candidate “Stavros Dimas” or “Present“. MPs do not have the option to say “No”. Just the name of the candidate or Present.
The Parliament Speaker will call the name of each MP and he/she will stand up and loud express his/her preference.
The voting procedure starts at 12 o’ clock noon time and lasts 40 minutes.
Voting procedure started. Parliament Speaker Evangelos Meimarakis reads the statute.
Athens Stock Exchange started with losses, at this time is at -2.42%, the General Index at 846 units.
Among the MPs who will vote are also 8 from Golden Dawn currently in custody awaiting trial. As in the first round, they were granted permission to vote and were taken to Parliament half an hour before the voting started.
Media report that former PM George Papandreou ( still PASOK) is going to announce the launching of a new political party on 30. December 2014, independently from the outcome of the Presidential election.
In Athens electoral area
Stavros Dimas: 34
by 150 votes
Stavros Dimas: 79
Niki Funta (see above) voted “Present”
Two former Golden Dawn MP (Boukouras) voted “Stavros Dimas”; he was kind of “booed” …
Athens Stock Exchange is apparently holding its breath and its shares. Stuck at -2.42%
independent MP Melas votes “Stavros Dimas”; the ex IndepGreeks MP had voted “Present” in the first round.
by 175 votes
Stavros Dimas 152
Stavros Dimas 168
Government candidate Stavros Dimas did better than in the first round (160 votes), however, still 12 votes are missing to reach the 180 necessary for the third round on December 29th.
Maria Kollia from Independent Greeks was absent for health reasons.
Presidential candidate Stavros Dimas received a total of 168 votes:
155 votes ND-PASOK coalition
5 independent MPs who also voted in the 1. round
4 independent MPs who had declared their support in the last days
(Melas, Kourakos, Oikonomou, Iatridi)
2 independent MPs (Giovanopoulos, Kasapidis)
2 independent MPs (Boukouras, Alexopoulos). The two awaiting trial together with other Golden Dawn MPs on charges of having established a “criminal organization”.
In the second round, the government and Stavros Dimas gained 8 votes more.
Political analysts estimate that it will be extremely difficult for the Greek coalition government to find another 12 votes for the third round.
Main opposition left-wing SYRIZA declared it was pleased with the voting result and said that snap elections were inevitable..
PM Anotnis Samaras warned that “in the third round every MPs will take his own responsibility” and stressed – metaphorically – that “there will be no ‘Present’ in the third round.”
As for Deputy PM and PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos… well… I suppose, he is trying to find solution to his own problem with ex PM Papandreou’s new party. No matter what, the new party is expected to attract those PASOK voters who are loyal to Papandreou family.
Where will the missing but urgently needed 12 votes will come from for the third round of voting? The government again targets independent – 24 in total – and some votes form Democratic Left and Independent Greeks.
According to Greek media, the coalition government hopes to receive the votes of
1) the two Democratic Left MPs who abandoned tha party short before the voting today = 170 votes
2) chances are good to gain the votes of independent MPs Kapernaros (ex IndepGreeks) and Polydoras (ex ND) = 172 votes
3) there are still 3-4 MPs who could be persuaded to vote in favor of Dimas = 175-176 votes
4) only some votes from Democratic Left and Independent Greeks would help Dimas to climb the Presidential chair and avoid snap elections.
Analysts estimate that the Prime Minister has to do some significant gesture in order to gain these missing votes.
The third round of voting will take place at 12 o’ clock noontime on 29. December 2014.
Should the government fail to get together 180 votes for Stavros Dimas, the Parliament will be dissolved and snap elections – most likely 25. January or 1. February 2015 – will take place.
Live blogging from Athens has concluded.
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