Greece faces tall order to prevent early elections: analysts

Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras addresses his party's parliamentary group at the Greek parliament in Athens, on December 11, 2014A successor to 85-year-old President Karolos Papoulias must be found or under the constitution, parliament will have to be dissolved by February — right in the middle of crucial talks between Greece and its EU-IMF creditors. The government will need 200 MPs in the first two votes to elect its candidate, former EU Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas, or 180 MPs in the third and final vote. Prime Minister Antonis Samaras hopes to find the remaining 25 deputies from among independent MPs and the deputies of two smaller parties — centre-left Democratic Left and the Independent Greeks, a nationalist party. The prospect of early elections strikes fear into the markets and Greece’s EU-IMF creditors as radical leftist party Syriza, which opposes the country’s bailout agreement, has a steady lead in opinion polls.

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