Panayiotis Lafazanis, leader of the new leftist party ‘Popular Unity’, received the mandate from Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos on Monday to seek alliances with other political groups in the current parliament, part of a last-ditch effort to form a government.
Exiting the Presidential Mansion, Lafazanis told reporters that his party would represent the people who voted ‘No’ in the July referendum, adding that the attempts by current PM Alexis Tsipras to hold ‘express elections’ were unconstitutional. Lafazanis called on the Greek President to refrain from becoming an ‘accomplice’ to the ‘express elections’.
He underlined that, although he would use his three days as provided under the Greek Constitution to meet with the leaders of the other political parties, except extreme right Golden Dawn, he was not ‘delusional’ to think he could form a government in such a short period and under the current make-up of the the Greek parliament.
He said that the time until the election date, Sept. 20, did not suffice for people to be fully informed on the impact of the harsh austerity measures and called on the President to set a new date a week later for August 27. He said his party would build a wide anti-memorandum front to block the austerity measures imposed on the Greek people.
‘Popular Unity’, which is the 3rd largest political group now, and is the last party to receive the Presidential mandate according to the Greek Constitution before elections are officially called, was formed after 25 former MPs broke off from the ruling leftist SYRIZA party denouncing PM Alexis Tsipras for betraying the party’s anti-memorandum platform and voting in a new series of harsh austerity measures attached to the 3rd rescue plan.