DIMAR Won’t Back Dimas For President

DIMAR leader Fotis Kouvelis oversaw his party's demise

ATHENS – The tiny Democratic Left (DIMAR) party that had been in the coalition government said it won’t support the ruling parties choice of New Democracy Vice-President Stavros Dimas as the country’s symbolic President.

The party, which bolted from the government of Prime Minister and New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras and his partner the PASOK Socialists, has only 10 votes in the 300-member Parliament and is in tatters with internal division.

Still, in an announcement, it said that it will not contribute to “the protraction of the political deadlocks being pursued by the present government.”

The government needs to secure at least 180 votes in the 300-seat Parliament to get Dimas elected and to avert early general elections with poll showing the major opposition Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) in the lead. There are voices in DIMAR calling on its leader, Fotis Kouvelis, to dissolve the party and join SYRIZA.

New Democracy and PASOK together have only 155 votes and are trying to woo Independent and opposition MPs by stating that a government collapse could undermine a looming recovery.

Without the support of any MPs from DIMAR, which has 10 seats in the house, the coalition will have to sway lawmakers from Independent Greeks, an anti-bailout nationalist party with 12 seats, whose leader, Panos Kammenos, has voiced his opposition to the government’s candidate.