Greece appoints judge as caretaker PM ahead of new elections

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In this photo provided by the Greek President's office, Ioannis Sarmas, a senior judicial official who is president of the Court of Audit, meets Greece's President Katerina Sakellaropoulou at the Presidential Palace in Athens, Greece, Wednesday, May 24, 2023. Sarmas was appointed as caretaker prime minister by Sakellaropoulou to form a government that will lead the country to a repeat election after last weekend's inconclusive vote. (Theodore Manolopoulos/Presidency of Hellenic Republic via AP)

ATHENS – Senior judge Ioannis Sarmas was named caretaker prime minister in Greece Wednesday after a general election failed to produce a new government.

Sarmas, 66, will be sworn in Thursday and lead a caretaker government until a new election next month, according to government officials. The vote is widely expected to be held on June 25 but has not been formally confirmed.

His appointment was announced after the conservative New Democracy party of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis won a landslide victory in a general election Sunday, beating his left-wing opponents by 20 percentage points but falling short of a parliamentary majority.

Next month's election will take place under a different system which boosts the winning party.

Mitsotakis and the leaders of four other political parties represented in parliament held a joint meeting Wednesday with President Katerina Sakellaropoulou to discuss arrangements for the upcoming election.