Greece has returned to political brinkmanship and recrimination as the country’s lawmakers vote in a snap presidential election Wednesday. The result could spark further political uncertainty and economic turmoil for the country. Here’s what you need to know:
Greek Prime minister Antonis Samaras surprised markets last week when he announced he was bringing forward the vote to pick the country’s president from early 2015 to this month. The announcement sent markets, already worrying about Greece’s politics, into a tailspin. The Athens stock exchange plunged nearly 13 percent during the day – the worst loss since 1987.
The first of three rounds of voting in the Greek parliament start on Wednesday with further polls set on December 23 and 29 if a majority is not secured in the first round. In the first round, Samaras’ pick — Stavros Dimas, a former commissioner at the European Union — will need to garner the 180 votes in parliament.