Greek president calls on ruling party to form new government

Greek President Karolos Papoulias asked Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis to form a new government Monday after the ruling conservative New Democracy party won weekend elections with a thin majority.

 Greek president calls on ruling party to form new government
Greek President Karolos Papoulias asked Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis to form a new government Monday after the ruling conservative New Democracy party won weekend elections with a thin majority.

New Democracy (ND) and the main opposition socialist Pasok both lost support to the left and extreme right in Sunday's vote, following widespread public anger over the handling of deadly forest fires last month.

"We are fully aware of our responsibility and, we must go forward quickly and with determination to make the country progress," Karamanlis said after his meeting with Papoulias.

Under the constitution he has three days to form a government, which he has said would be smaller and contain "new blood."

Earlier parliament speaker Anna Psarouda-Benaki gave the president the official make-up of the new 300-seat parliament, in which ND will have 152 seats, down from 165 in the last assembly.

Pasok had 102 seats, down from 117, under a new proportional representation system being used for this first time.

The communist KKE party made major gains, winning 10 more seats for a total of 22 seats, the radical Left Coalition got 14 seats, up eight, while the new extreme-right Laos party entered parliament with 10 seats.

AFP
Last Mod: 17 Eylül 2007, 17:15
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