New Greek Party Receives Mandate to Form Gov't

New Greek Party Receives Mandate to Form Gov't
New Greek Party Receives Mandate to Form Gov't

A new anti-austerity party formed by rebel lawmakers who quit the governing left-wing Syriza was given its chance Monday to seek government coalition partners and prevent Greece from holding its third national vote this year.

Former energy minister Panagiotis Lafazanis, who heads the newly formed Popular Unity, received the maximum three-day mandate from the country's president after the head of the main opposition conservative New Democracy failed to form a government, AP reported.

Neither of the two parties was expected to find willing coalition partners and early elections are practically guaranteed in September following the resignation of Prime Minister Alexis' Tsipras last week, seven months into his four-year term. The most likely date is seen as September 20.

The renewed political uncertainty has hammered the Athens Stock Exchange, which crashed down more than 9% in afternoon trading Monday, dragged down by Europe-wide jitters after China's market tumbled.

Tsipras resigned on Thursday following a rebellion in his party over Greece's new bailout, which saw dozens of Syriza lawmakers dissent and vote against him when the deal came to a vote in Parliament.

Syriza hardliners blasted the party's young leader for reneging on the promises which brought him to power in January elections to repeal austerity measures imposed in return for Greece's two previous international bailouts.

Despite acknowledging there was no chance of forming a government, Popular Unity has said it will keep the mandate for the full three days.

While some analysts have voiced concerns that the election could derail the implementation of bailout measures Greece has already signed up to, and therefore delay the further disbursement of funds from the rescue package, others argued the vote would likely lead to a more stable government that will better follow through on bailout measures.