The 300 deputies elected to Parliament in the May 21 general elections were sworn in on Sunday, in the presence of President of the Hellenic Republic Katerina Sakellaropoulou. Their term will be extremely short, however, as the present Parliament will be dissolved by presidential decree on Monday, after the MPs elect its presidium, so that a repeat election using a system of enhanced proportional representation can be held on June 25, so that a government can be formed.
The May 21 elections, using a system of simple proportional representation, elected five political parties with more than three percent of the overall vote to Parliament. New Democracy came first with 40.79 pct and 146 MPs, followed by SYRIZA-Progressive Alliance with 20.07 pct and 71 MPs, PASOK-KINAL with 11.46 pct and 41 MPs, the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) with 7.23 pct and 26 MPs and Elliniki Lysi with 4.45 pct and 16 MPs.
All three top parties returned the exploratory mandates conferred on them by President Sakellaropoulou, saying they were unable to form a government. This resulted in the second “two-day parliament” in Greece’s recent history, following that arising in the elections of May 2012.
The inaugural meeting of the Parliament began with a blessing performed by Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and All Greece, after which MPs were sworn in according to their faith and beliefs, including by civil affirmation.
After being sworn in, the MPs signed the relevant protocol and received an information dossier that included, among others, a copy of the Constitution and Parliament’s Regulations.
The session was chaired by MP for Athens and Parliament Vice-President Nikitas Kaklamanis, who also informed the body which seats were chosen by the party leaders. New Democracy President Kyriakos Mitsotakis has chosen the 1st Thessaloniki constituency, SYRIZA-PA President Alexis Tsipras has kept the 1st Piraeus district, PASOK-Kinal President Nikos Androulakis has kept the 1st Thessaloniki constituency, KKE General Secretary has kept the seat for Fthiotida and Elliniki Lysi President Kyriakos Velopoulos the seat for Larissa.
Election of the Parliament President
The new Parliament will convene again on Monday at 10:30, with Kaklamanis again presiding. He will begin by reading out the letters of the presidents of the parliamentary groups regarding the persons they propose to serve as the new parliament president, as it is forbidden for candidates to put themselves forward.
New Democracy President Kyriakos Mitsotakis, whose party has the largest numbers of seats in the new Parliament, has proposed the current Parliament President Konstantinos Tasoulas. The Parliament President is elected in a roll-call vote and needs an absolute majority of at least 151 MPs to be elected in the first round. If no candidate gets 151 votes, the process is repeated and the individual with the highest number of votes is elected.
Kaklamanis will then announce the result and invite the elected Parliament president to take over the chair.
After a brief recess, the House will convene again in order to elect the Vice-Presidents, deans and secretaries, again by roll-call vote. New Democracy elects the first, second and third vice-presidents of Parliament, while the opposition parties will elect the third, fourth and fifth.
Once the election of the new presidium is concluded, the new Parliament President will conclude the session, which will also mark the conclusion of this parliament’s first and only meeting.
President Sakellaropoulou will then issue a Presidential Decree that dissolves the parliament of May 21 and proclaims general elections on June 25, as well as setting a date for swearing in the next Parliament. This will be co-signed by caretaker Prime Minister Ioannis Sarmas and the caretaker government ministers and sent to Parliament to be posted by the Parliament Guard.