The formation of the Laiki Enotita, or Popular Unity party, was announced by 25 Syriza members, hours after Tsipras stepped down as prime minister in a calculated action to consolidate power in a new election.
Greece will go to the polls next month after Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras resigned on Thursday evening.
The Popular Unity now outnumbers the third elected party in the parliament and, according to the Greek Constitution, should now receive the third mandate to form government if Meimarakis’ efforts end fruitless over the next three days.
The Syriza Labour Minister, George Katrougalos, said that the government needed to “reconfirm its mandate” to implement the third Greek bailout and that the party is “crippled by a number of dissident Mps”. “We did not achieve the agreement we expected before the January elections”.
However, in a bid to avoid early polls, the country’s president, Prokopis Pavlopoulos, on Friday asked the leader of the second party, Evangelos Meimarakis to try to put together a coalition government.
Under Greek political rules, a minority government must always be above to rely on at least 120 votes, but only 118 MPs from the alliance between Syriza and ANEL (the right-wing nationalist Independent Greeks) voted in favour of the bailout reforms.
The election date is yet to be set but earlier reports suggested 20 September.
Teneo intelligence analyst Wolfango Piccoli said while Tsipras’ gamble could pay off politically, it probably will delay the first review of the new bailout program – expected in October – because “the caretaker government will not be able to implement any meaningful policy measures”.
Here is a look at what comes next for Greece and what the elections mean for the bailout, the 86 billion euro ($95 billion) package of loans that is keeping the country solvent and part of Europe’s joint currency, the euro.
He said Greek people must decide “whether we made the right choice”.
The hard-won package – which kept Greece in the eurozone but comes with demands for painful spending cuts and tax hikes – proved fatal for Syriza, with those on the eurosceptic left implacably opposed to steps Tsipras took to satisfy Greece’s creditors.
In his public comments, Theodorakis focused more on the imminent elections rather than the possibility of preventing them.