Despite the contrary provisions of the Constitution, which clearly states the preconditions for early elections, setting the date of the general election has long been part of the political game. Opposition parties usually push for early elections, while governments plan to hold elections at a moment when they believe that they can reap the most political benefits.
The rule applies to today’s government. It would be rather surprising if it did not, as the ruling coalition partners three years ago exploited the election by parliament of the President of the Republic, which requires an enhanced majority, to trigger early elections.
They are now following the same rationale, which they have placed above all else. From economic and foreign policy to social benefits and the Greece-FYROM naming accord, the government’s considerations and actions are exclusively electoral. The only thing that concerns them is how to maximise their gains and cut their losses.
Certainly, electoral planning is part of the political game, but not when everything is sacrificed on the altar of elections, not when the government does not consider the public interest but instead counts votes, not when it uses its power to expand its political clientele, and not when it marshals all means at its disposal to gain advantage in the elections, which are never held on time, as the PM maintains, but rather when it suits the government.