Greece: Constitutional Conundrum

Constitutional Conundrum

After two inconclusive parliamentary ballots in six days, Greece's Socialist Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou succeeded last week in a bold move that left him at the pinnacle of his power. By mustering 180 votes in Parliament --the absolute minimum necessary--Papandreou saw to it that his candidate, Christos Sartzetakis, 56, was elected President. Sartzetakis replaces conservative Elder Statesman Constantine Caramanlis, 78, a prestigious counterweight to Papandreou who resigned March 10 after the Socialists withdrew support for his candidacy.

Sartzetakis' election created something of a constitutional conundrum. The deciding vote was cast by Yannis Alevras, a member of Papandreou's party, who became acting...

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