Papandreou Calls for New Greek Election

April 03, 1985|From Reuters

ATHENS — Socialist Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou, locked in a heated row with the opposition over Greece's new president, said today that he will seek dissolution of Parliament and a general election.

Political analysts predict June 9 as a probable date for voting in this strategic NATO nation.

Papandreou, whose Pasok Party controls the 300-seat Parliament, will seek dissolution as soon as the legislature has approved constitutional changes he is proposing, an official announcement said.

The changes will need a month for approval, meaning that Parliament probably will be dissolved early in May with elections in June, the analysts said.

Greek politics are in turmoil over the election by Parliament of Christos Sartzetakis as the nation's president. Opposition leader Constantine Mitsotakis today demanded a general election on the issue, saying Sartzetakis was elected illegally.

But today's official announcement referred instead to the partitioned island of Cyprus, saying that Papandreou considers there are serious reasons relating to that issue for calling national elections.

It was not immediately clear why Papandreou cited the Cyprus issue as grounds for calling a national election. The constitution stipulates that early elections can be held only over a major national issue or if Parliament and popular sentiment are clearly at odds.

The announcement did say Papandreou will meet with Sartzetakis on Thursday and "put to him the issue of a recourse to a popular verdict after the completion of the (constitutional) procedure."

His constitutional proposals would limit the president's discretion to call elections and name the prime minister.

Papandreou's term does not expire until October.

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