ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece’s main opposition party said Tuesday that it won’t participate in parliamentary votes until a general election is held later this year, in response to the alleged wiretapping of senior officials by the state intelligence service.
“We will not legitimize the legislative work of a government that is demonstrably … deviating from democracy,” opposition leader Alexis Tsipras, who heads the left-wing Syriza party, told reporters.
Allegations that politicians and journalists have been targeted in legally-sanctioned wiretaps, as well as with spyware from unknown origins, have triggered judicial investigations and rattled Greece’s politics before an election due before the summer.
Tsipras on Tuesday called for parliament to be dissolved immediately, allowing for the election to be held in three weeks — a demand the government swiftly rejected.
Government spokesman Giannis Oikonomou accused Tsipras of acting dangerously by “attempting to undermine (Greece’s) parliamentary system and constitutional order.”
The center-right government argues that it mishandled some surveillance procedures by the National Intelligence Service and has recently banned the use of commercially available spyware.