Evangelos Venizelos, the leader of the center-left Greek political party Pasok, has received a mandate from the president to form a coalition government following Sunday’s parliamentary elections, Greek television reported on Thursday.
Pasok finished third in the May 6 elections, but the center-right New Democracy party and the following radical leftist party Syriza failed to form a coalition government.
The mandate granted to Venizelos will be the third and final attempt to form a coalition and if his party fails to do this President Karolos Papoulias will gather a council of political leaders. If the council also fails to come to an agreement, the president will have to announce new parliamentary elections.
Greece held the first general election since the debt crisis hit the country in late 2009 and prompted Greek authorities to implement deeply unpopular austerity measures in exchange for bailout funds from the European Union and the International Monetary Funds to stave off a sovereign default.