Greece elections loom as Syriza rebels break away to form new party

The country is headed for its fifth national election in six years

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The Independent Online

Far-left rebels rebels from Greece's Syriza have split to form a breakaway ‘Popular Unity’ party.

The country's Prime Minister and leader of Syriza, Alexis Tsipras, announced in a televised address on Thursday he is stepping down after losing the support of many members of his own party in a vote on new bailout deal conditions.

His resignation paves the way for new elections to take place.

According to local media reports, 25 hard-left MPs from Syriza have signed a letter to announce they will be rebelling in order to form a new group, called Laiki Enotita, which translates as Popular Unity.

They will become the third largest party in parliament.

The party will be led by Panagiotis Lafazanis, a former minister and prominent figure in Greek politics who has been vocal in his opposition to a bailout deal for the struggling country.

Outgoing government officials say the most likely election date will be 20 September. It will be the fifth national election in six years.

With additional reporting by AP