Main opposition PASOK party leader George Papandreou on Sunday reiterated that his party will back current President Karolos Papoulias if the latter wants a second term as president, while qualifying, however, that “the best way to honor the position and the individual is via an election of president by a Parliament with a fresh popular mandate”.

Papandreou made the statement in response to a press question on whether main opposition PASOK will back Papoulias’ re-election as president, or, cause early elections in the spring, given that 180 MPs are needed to elect a president of the republic, a largely ceremonial position that nevertheless serves as the highest political office in Greece.

The former foreign minister, in fact, referred directly to the prospect of early elections by underlining that the country “urgently needs to change course with a new and powerful government, one that enjoys a fresh popular mandate.”

Papoulias is also a former foreign minister in successive PASOK governments.