A senior Greek judge, Ioannis Sarmas, will be formally asked Wednesday to lead an interim government tasked with organising a second national election by late June, the presidency announced.

“President Katerina Sakellaropoulou will receive… Ioannis Sarmas to charge him with forming a government and organising elections,” it said in a statement.

Outgoing Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has called for a fresh election as early as June 25 after securing his party’s biggest electoral triumph in years, but five seats short of being able to produce a single-party government.

The announcement about Sarmas, 66, comes three days after Mitsotakis’s conservative New Democracy party secured a 20-point lead over its nearest contender, Syriza, led by leftist Alexis Tsipras, at national elections on Sunday.

It was the Greek conservatives’ best result since 2007, crediting the party with bringing economic stability back to a nation once known as an EU laggard.

Mitsotakis, 55, on Monday told Sakellaropoulou that he could not form a coalition and called for elections “possibly on June 25”.

Under a new electoral law that comes into play in the next ballot, the winner can obtain a bonus of up to 50 seats.

Tsipras, whose party Syriza won 71 seats for Mitsotakis’s 146, also refused to form a coalition on Tuesday but has vowed to lead his party into the next battle.

Source: AFP