ATHENS (Reuters) – Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou appointed the president of the Court of Auditors Ioannis Sarmas as interim prime minister on Wednesday to prepare for new legislative elections to be held on June 25.
The ruling conservative New Democracy party, led by outgoing Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, won a landslide victory on Sunday with 40.1% of the vote but fell short of the threshold to form a new government on its own, while ruling out forming a coalition cabinet.
“It is a constitutional obligation and at the same time my duty as a citizen to accept,” Ioannis Sarmas told the Greek president when her appointment was announced.
Contrary to the vote of May 21, which took place in full proportional representation, the next elections will take place according to a semi-proportional voting system, which provides for the granting of a bonus to the winning party, of 20 seats if it wins at least 25% of the vote and up to 50 seats if it wins around 40% of the vote.
New Democracy thus intends to secure an absolute majority, while the opposition, led by the left-wing Syriza party, which came second in the May 21 elections with some 20% of the vote, hopes to regain ground.
The new Parliament resulting from the elections of May 21 will meet next Sunday and will be dissolved the following day, before the interim government takes over.
(Report Lefteris Papadimas, Alkis Kontantinidis, with the contribution of Renee Maltezou; French version Jean-Stéphane Brosse and Kate Entringer)
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