Δευτέρα 15 Απριλίου 2024
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Editorial To Vima: The dilemma of ruling coalitions

Editorial To Vima: The dilemma of ruling coalitions

When PM as leader of the top party [SYRIZA has long trailed behind ND in all polls] raises the prospect of a coalition government, other party leaders cannot dodge the issue and turn a blind eye to new realities.

At our news organisation’s Oikonomikos Tachydromos forum (photo), Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis made clear – in this unstable wartime and absolutely transitional period for the entire world – his political intentions and the terms under which he intends the next general election to be held.

Firstly, he made a firm commitment that he will serve out his four-year term (ending in July, 2023).

Noting that he does not intend to change the current electoral law (direct proportional representation without a bonus of dozens of seats as in the past that ensured a stable, one-party government), Mitsotakis distanced himself from his past declarations that he will not settle for anything less than ND single-party rule, and he left open the prospect of a coalition government.

This political shift constitutes recognition of the domestic and global emergency situation [created by the Russo-Ukrainian war] and signals that the PM will place political stability above partisan interests and objectives.

He essentially freed himself of the games that have traditionally bedeviled Greek politics and recognised that current conditions mandate a heightened level of responsibility.

With the conviction that the Greek people will appreciate his stance, the PM also personally took on the weighty domestic political cost of the management of challenges resulting from the current international instability.
Effectively, Mitsotakis, due to extraordinary circumstances, turned a page and redefined the terms of the domestic political game.

Now, no one can remain barricaded behind the wooden walls of his party and pretend to pursue indisputable single-party rule.

When the leader of the top party [SYRIZA has long trailed behind ND in all polls] raises the prospect of a coalition government, other party leaders cannot dodge the issue and turn a blind eye to new realities.

This is because the country cannot remain ungoverned or have an unstable government, especially in wartime conditions.

There is no room for self-deception and in all likelihood the directly proportional electoral law cannot produce a viable, single-party government.

A coalition of three parties – most likely the three top ones – would be required, but that is an unlikely eventuality given the fundamental and largely unbridgeable political chasm between the parties.

That means a second general election, with an electoral law that is more favourable for the top party, will likely be held in late spring of 2023.

Mitsotakis stressed that in the current conditions of international instability it is impermissible for a repeat general election not to lead to the formation of a government and to necessitate a third electoral contest with an outcome that cannot be predicted.

All parties, especially ideologically kindred ones, must take a stand in a timely manner in order to facilitate the convergence of political platforms, and so that voters may be aware in advance of the various potential coalitions.

The truth be told, the PM seeks to collaborate with the renewed [in December it elected a new leader] centre-left KINAL party. He sees Nikos Androulakis’ party as a politically closer to his own and takes into account that it has experience from governing in the past.

The two parties had joined forces in a coalition government in the fairly recent past and jointly managed major challenges in critical periods. Moreover, in Europe one has often seen ruling coalitions comprised of conservative and Social Democratic parties.

Mitsotakis intends to declare that under no circumstances will he govern with nationalist-populist parties.

Androulakis’ first reaction to the PM’s indirect invitation was hardly receptive, and understandably one might say. It was characterised by reservations and suspicion.

Yet, as time goes by, he will be faced with increasingly sever pressures and he will de facto have to confront the dilemma.

Mitsotakis will attempt to attract centrist voters, either through a collaboration with KINAL, or on his own in the event that Androulakis rules it out and moves to build bridges with main opposition SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras.

Whatever the case may be, the hitherto stagnant Greek political system is on the move, and in the 16 months until the next general election everyone will be evaluated and judged.

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Δευτέρα 15 Απριλίου 2024