By Jonathan Davies
A group of Syriza rebels have been given the opportunity to form a government, just four days after their former leader Alexis Tsipras resigned the government.
The former Syriza members split from the party following Tsipras' resignation and created the Popular Unity party, which is pro-drachma and anti-euro.
Now, Greece' President Prokopis Pavlopoulos has given a mandate to the Popular Unity party, led by Marxist former energy minister Panagiotis Lafazanis to attempt to create a government.
Under the Greek constitution, when a government resigns after less than 12 months in office, the president must give the next largest party the opportunity to form a government. If it cannot, the next party is given a chance. However, those parties can choose to waive that right, allowing the president to approve a snap election.
“We denounce these ‘express’ elections and a government that resigned so that we would go into an electoral process of only a few weeks,” Lafazanis told President Pavlopoulos.
“We will use this mandate to demonstrate that a consistent anti-memorandum government can, and must, exist in this country. We will use [it], first and foremost, to speak with society and social organisations.”
The Popular Unity party's members split from the far-left Syriza party after falling out over the terms of the country's bailout.
Alexis Tsipras and his senior ministers spent months in negotiations, but were forced to accept tough austerity measures as part of the agreement. Syriza was elected in January based on its anti-austerity promises.