Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will submit his resignation to the country’s president Thursday, making way for early elections scheduled for Sept. 20, government officials report.

Tsipras’ resignation comes at the end of seven bruising months in office, at the start of which hope was high that his government would beat back the eurozone’s Germany-led troika of creditors and the budgetary austerity it has imposed on Greece.

After campaigning against austerity and holding a referendum that expressed public opposition to the troika, Tsipras accepted tax increases and spending cuts demanded in exchange for a third bailout.

Reuters reports:

Tsipras effectively lost his parliamentary majority after a rebellion by hardliners in his Syriza party who oppose a bailout agreement struck with international lenders.

Tsipras had been expected to seek early elections to quell a rebellion in his leftist Syriza party and seal support to implement a tough bailout program. Ministers have openly debated for days about what the government should do after a large number of hard left Syriza lawmakers refused to back the 86 billion euro ($96 billion) bailout in parliament on Friday.

Tsipras won power only in January and Greece’s complex constitution has special stipulations for holding elections less than 12 months after the previous vote. Under these, President Prokopis Pavlopoulos cannot immediately call an election if Tsipras resigns, but must first consult the other major parties to see if they could form a government – a remote likelihood with the current parliamentary arithmetic.

Read more here.

— Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

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