Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will submit his resignation to the country’s president later Thursday to clear the way for early elections on September 20, a government official said.
“The aim is to hold elections on Sept. 20,” a government source said after Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras met senior party officials and ministers to discuss the government’s next move.
Tspiras, elected in January, is expected to make a televised state address in the evening.
Rebellion among hard left MPs
Tsipras has suffered a rebellion among hard left lawmakers in his Syriza party and had to rely on opposition support to win parliamentary approval for Greece’s new 86 billion euro bailout deal.
According to the constitution, if a government resigns within a year of the last election, the country’s president must hand an exploratory mandate to the leaders of the opposition to try to form a government, starting with the largest party.
The mandate lasts for three days and if efforts prove fruitless it is handed over to the second-largest party and then to the third-largest. If these efforts to form a new government fail, then the president calls a general election.
If Tsipras resigns as it has been announced in the press, the mandate is handed to the conservative New Democracy party and, if that fails to form a government, to the far-right Golden Dawn. However, this procedure may be side-stepped as the opposition leaders are likely to hand back the mandate to the president, clearing the way for snap polls that must take place within 30 days from the date they are announced.