Greek opposition says will try to force election

Reuters News
Posted: Feb 16, 2014 9:03 AM

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greek opposition leader Alexis Tsipras said on Sunday he will not support any candidate for president in spring 2015, in the hope of forcing a parliamentary election.

The Greek parliament needs 180 votes to select a president but the government has only 153 seats. It must rely on Tsipras's Syriza's 71 deputies or the support of fringe parties opposed to Greece's EU/IMF bailout to elect a president.

"We will not support any candidate. This means that the necessary parliamentary majority to elect a president will not be there ... There will have to be new elections," Tsipras said in an interview with German newspaper Sueedeutsche Zeitung, according to a transcript sent by his office on Sunday.

(Reporting by Harry Papachristou; Editing by Janet Lawrence)