Newly-elected President George Papadopoulos on Monday (30 July) vowed to lead Greece back to Parliamentary rule.
Newly-elected President George Papadopoulos on Monday (30 July) vowed to lead Greece back to Parliamentary rule. He told the Greek people in a televised address: "I will fulfil to the end my pledges and my duty."
Mr. Papadopoulos received massive -- though not unexpected -- support in the weekend referendum. More than 78 per cent of the population approved constitutional changes abolishing the monarchy and declaring Greece a republic, with Mr. Papadopoulos as President. The result has yet to be formally recognised by the Supreme Court, and that is expected on 14 August.
The percentage of "yes" votes in the provinces was almost absolute; in Athens it dropped as low as 51 per cent. That has provoked sharp criticism from opposition leaders, who allege electoral irregularities at many polling stations. They've challenged the result and pledged to restore a genuine democracy in Greece.
As a first step, the President is expected to lift martial law, which is still enforced in Athens and Piraeus. Then, there probably will be a Cabinet reshuffle and, observers say, recognised political, rather than military, personalities are almost certain to be include, giving the Government a more liberal and progressive appearance.
Mr. Papadopoulos, who is 54, led the 1967 coup, which ousted King Constantine and his family. Since then, the former artillery colonel has ruled the country by decree. The referendum result gives him a seven-year term as President.