Tuesday, February 17, 2015

New Democracy backs Pavlopoulos as Greek president

First entry: 17 February 2015 - 20:00 Athens, 18:00 GMT
Last update: 20:00 Athens, 18:00 GMTPolitics
New Democracy backs Pavlopoulos as Greek president
New Democracy will back Prokopis Pavlopoulos, proposed Tuesday by Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, as President of the Republic.
Pavlopoulos, 64, was a New Democracy MP from 1996 to 2014, a party spokesman and Interior Minister from 2004 to 2009. He stood down at the last election.
"Syriza proposes (the candidacy of) Prokopis Pavlopoulos, former minister and New Democracy MP, a known pro-European and a moderate politician," said Costas Karagounis, a New Democracy MP and party spokesman. 
"It is self-evident that New Democracy will support the candidacy," Karagounis added.
With New Democracy's support, Pavlopoulos' election as Greece's new president in the first round of voting it is almost certain.
Parliament will convene Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. with the presidential vote the only item on the session's agenda. A vote by three-fifths of MPs, 180 out of 300, is required.
With this Parliament elected by snap election after the previous one failed to elect a President of the Republic in three rounds, the Constitution makes it certain that a new President will be elected now. The first round of voting requires a three-fifths majority of all members, the second a simple majority and the third only a plurality, which, according to constitutional scholars, can be as low as 75 MPs.
With Syriza (149 MPs), junior coalition partner Independent Greeks (13) and New Democracy (76) having declared their support for Pavlopoulos, his election Wednesday is all but certain. The method of voting, by voice vote, minimizes a likely revolt.
The socialist PASOK party announced it will support Nikos Alivizatos, a constitutional lawyer proposed by centrist To Potami party. The two parties have a total of 30 seats in Parliament.
The Greek Ciommunist Party (15 MPs) announced it would vote "present."

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