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Greece: Left-wing opposition calls for early elections after winning European vote

Main opposition leader Alexis Tsipras delivers a speech to his supporters in Athens early Monday, May 26, 2014. The left-wing opposition Syriza party has succeeded in capturing first place in Greece’s election for the European Parliament, leading conservative New Democracy by about 3.5 percent. The radical left party, which has been fiercely critical of the austerity policies pursued since 2010 by the heavily indebted country and imposed by its creditors, claimed an important victory in Greece’s local and regional elections that took place simultaneously by winning the Attica region, where almost 30 percent of all Greek voters are registered. The podium reads ''Greece leads the way.'' (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

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Main opposition leader Alexis Tsipras delivers a speech to his supporters in Athens early Monday, May 26, 2014. The left-wing opposition Syriza party has succeeded in capturing first place in Greece’s election for the European Parliament, leading conservative New Democracy by about 3.5 percent. The radical left party, which has been fiercely critical of the austerity policies pursued since 2010 by the heavily indebted country and imposed by its creditors, claimed an important victory in Greece’s local and regional elections that took place simultaneously by winning the Attica region, where almost 30 percent of all Greek voters are registered. The podium reads ''Greece leads the way.'' (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

ATHENS, Greece - Greece's main opposition party has formally requested an early general election after winning Sunday's vote for the European Parliament, arguing that the country's conservative government now lacks the legitimacy to implement reforms related to international bailouts.

Alexis Tsipras, leader of the left-wing Syriza party, visited Greece's president Monday to make the request "to restore the democratic order in the country."

Tsipras has vowed to cancel bailout agreements that rescued Greece from bankruptcy but also imposed harsh austerity measures.

With just over 99 per cent of votes voted, Syriza leads with 26.6 per cent of the vote, while centre-right coalition government leader New Democracy received 22.71 per cent.

The government, midway through its four-year term, late on Sunday ruled out calling an early election.

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