Greece President dissolves Parliament, schedules elections for May 21
Greece's President signed into law a decree dissolving the country's parliament and setting the election for next month after deliberations on the issue.
Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou signed on Saturday a decree dissolving the country’s parliament and holding parliamentary elections on May 21, Greek media reported.
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis met earlier on Saturday with Sakellaropoulou and asked her to dissolve the parliament due to the imminent expiration of the government's four-year mandate.
"We are convening the parliament formed as a result of the elections on June 1, 2023, on Thursday, at 11:00," a document published by the Official Government Gazette said.
In a televised message he gave later in the day, Mitsotakis underlined that Greece "needs a clear perspective on its course and clear solutions in its leadership."
The premier also highlighted the main achievements of his government and touched on his main goals for the upcoming four years.
The first session of Parliament will see new lawmakers sworn in, with the MPs electing a Speaker the very next, June 2.
At the same time, Calliope Spanou has been appointed acting interior minister, Greek media reported, adding that she will be sworn in on Sunday. She will be in charge of holding parliamentary elections.
Moreover, Greek MPs voted to ban the far-right National Party-Greeks from running in elections that will take place on May 21, as per local media.
According to the state-run AMNA news agency, the main opposition Syriza party abstained while the center-right ruling New Democracy and center-left opposition Psaok parties both voted in favor.
Syriza leader Alexis Tsipras accused the administration of systemic amateurism in an address to the parliament.
"In the end, you manage to become the best sponsors of the Kasidiaris party (Greeks-National Party). You give arguments to those who file a combination to appeal for the annulment of elections to the electoral court and the supreme court of human rights. Imagine the boost it will give to the extreme right if a decision comes out that vindicates them," he said.
The Greek Communist Party (KKE), which was another opponent of the proposal, claimed that it might potentially pave the way for future elections to exclude other political parties.
Additionally, the populist-nationalist Greek Solution party, alongside former Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis’ leftist MeRA25 party voted down the proposal.
Greek media stated last week that Syriza's participation in the May 21 parliamentary elections could alter the results, due to narrowing polling margins between it and the dominant incumbent New Democracy party.