By Penelope Galliou

54 days. That is all that remains until the first ballot box is set up, after the official announcement by the Prime Minister orally to the Council of Ministers of the date of the elections and the beginning of the end of a long pre-election period. The designation of May 21 as the day of the national elections has now surrounded the pre-election period with the necessary institutional formality and set the “end date” of a political struggle that is expected to escalate and culminate in the next period.

“The country and the citizens need clear horizons” said the prime minister in order to proceed with the announcement of the desired date and in spite of those who spread the opposite scenarios, as he said “the national elections will be held at the end of the 4 years as I had committed from the beginning. They will be on Sunday May 21”.

A date which, based on the fluidity caused by the system of simple proportionality with which the upcoming elections will be held, may not be the final one for the pre-election period, as there is always the scenario of the second election contest, in case it does not occur election of a government from the first polls. “And if a second match is needed to cancel the adventure of the simple analogy, it will take place by the beginning of July at the latest” was the second milestone set by the prime minister.

Alexis Tsipras, however, expressed an opposite opinion upon hearing the date of the elections and from Livadia, where he was on a tour of the region, he stated that he was confident of the victory of SYRIZA, from the first election on May 21, and was ready for the formation of a progressive government from the first Sunday. “On May 21, the citizens will return the bill that does not go to the ballot box. And the very next day, without second elections and adventures, a progressive cooperation government will undertake the difficult task of reviving our country, rebuilding the economy and supporting the economy,” he stressed .

Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Alexis Tsipras also argued from a distance about the electoral system, with the Prime Minister once again arguing against simple proportionality and the pitfalls of non-governance that it hides, while he indirectly answered the President of PASOK that citizens will ALSO vote for Prime Minister. “An independent ND means a strong Greece,” Kyriakos Mitsotakis told the Council of Ministers, reminding his ministers of the ongoing debt “to demonstrate the anarchy trap of simple proportionality. Explaining that the 1st ballot will show who will govern while the 2nd will judge how they will govern That’s why the citizens must know who they are voting for as prime minister,” he said characteristically.

On the contrary, Alexis Tsipras, during his first television interview after the announcement of the elections, defended the electoral system of simple proportionality, which his government established for the first time in Greece, as well as the governing coalitions, pointing out that in most European countries there are governments cooperation and not “arrogant self-sufficient”.

With yet another invitation for change, Nikos Androulakis welcomed the announcement of the date of the elections, lashing out at the prime minister and declaring that he “announced the end of his failed government”. In fact, the president of PASOK also focused on the possibility of the second ballot which was mentioned by Kyriakos Mitsotakis, speaking of contempt for the will of the Greek people and the Constitution. “Greek men and women in the May 21 elections are voting for a new hope. For a new perspective,” said Mr. Androulakis.

In an interview he gave to SKAI’s main news bulletin, the PASOK leader insisted to “neither Tsipras nor Mitsotakis” but for the first time putting himself in the category of prime ministerial candidates and declaring that “prime ministerial candidates are all the political leaders of all parties. Mitsotakis and Tsipras say to each other that they were bad governors and dangerous. I I agree with them. The new era must have programmatic collaborations and persons who will implement them. Against them I have a comparative advantage. I have not governed and I have not destroyed the country,” he said while referring to the possibility of the second elections, warning that “whoever goes the country in anarchy, in second elections, PASOK will not be on its side”.

Not to the electoral dilemmas, said Dimitris Koutsoubas, arguing that “the weaker are the parties that – in one way or another – will form the next anti-people government, the higher the KKE is, the stronger the people become to shape real positive developments to his advantage”.

Kyriakos Velopoulos also criticized the need for self-reliance proposed by the ND, arguing that what the prime minister is asking for “is self-reliance for the ND and prime ministership for himself. So he is not interested in the good of the Greeks but his own chair” while Yannis Varoufakis opposed the double ballot, noting that “The aim of these double elections is to prevent young people from voting. MeRA25 will be here to spoil the post-election arithmetic” he announced.

The road map of the elections

After the announcement of the elections by the Prime Minister, all key steps leading up to the polls on May 21 and possibly also to a second election at the beginning of July were automatically defined.

According to information, the Parliament will remain open until Holy Tuesday or Wednesday, April 12, while it is expected to reopen from April 21 to 24. However, because based on the Constitution the Parliament must be dissolved from 30 to 22 days before the elections, this means that the Presidential Decree to dissolve the Parliament can be blocked from Monday, April 24 to Friday, April 28.

The result of the May 21 elections will also determine the subsequent steps. In the event of non-self-reliance, which is considered certain as the elections will be held with the simple proportional system, the President of the Republic on May 22, in accordance with Article 37 of the Constitution, will initiate investigative orders which can last from three to nine days.

Initially, the first order to form a government is given to the leader of the party with the first number of votes that emerged in the elections, but if it is found that it is impossible to form a government, the President of the Republic, who can give up to three exploratory orders to the three largest parties, gives the order to the leader of the second party and if again no cooperation is achieved to form a government, the mandate goes to the third party that emerged from the elections.

Since the mandates are fruitless, the President then convenes a meeting of political leaders under her presidency in a last-ditch effort to form a world government, which is also considered impossible at this juncture.

In this case, the “next step” is the formation of a caretaker government, between May 25 and 30, depending on the days the exploratory orders will last, with Ms. Sakellaropoulou appointing the caretaker prime minister, who is always one of the presidents of three supreme courts of the country and, subsequently, the interim government of the country is appointed and sworn in.

At the same time, after the inauguration of the caretaker government, the new Parliament is formed for a single day in order to elect a presidency and then it is dissolved again in order to lead the country to the second polls.

In this scenario, the best date, if the developments lead there, is for the second elections to be held on July 2nd with a list and now with the new electoral law passed by the ND government, the strengthened proportional one. The result of the second ballot will determine the subsequent developments again, the exploratory orders, the formation of the government and the swearing in of the new Parliament. In the case of an autonomous government, it is a given that the procedures will run much faster so that a government will be formed by July 10.

However, this timetable can be extended if again no independent government emerges from the elections and through exploratory orders again based on Article 37 of the Constitution, cooperation of parties that will form the new government is sought and achieved.

If not, the question remains whether the parties – refusing to cooperate with each other – will take responsibility to lead the country to third elections.