(Update at the end)

Greece’s supreme court has ordered a preliminary investigation into the claims made on Monday by the spokesman of the main opposition party that attempts were being made to bribe lawmakers to win their support, in the government’s bid to secure the 180 votes necessary to elect Greece’s next president in February.

The election of the president is made in the 300-seat parliament. If parliament fails to reach a consensus, it is dissolved and general elections are called.

Speaking on private Mega TV channel, Panos Skourletis cited a ‘publication in a Sunday paper three weeks ago’ that claimed business friends of the Prime Minister had already ‘brought out their piggy banks to raise money’ for that purpose.

“If the government  feels like it, it can refute this’, he said.

The government dismissed the claims as ‘more Tsipras wretchedness’.

“Greek lawmakers will not be blackmailed by Syriza and cannot be bought off” said Government Spokesperson Sofia Voultepsi.

However the chief prosecutor of Greece’s supreme court Efterpi Κoutzamani ordered a preliminary investigation later on Monday. 

Update Oct. 10

As witnesses on Wednesday October 10 began testifying in the inquiry, Skourletis sought to clarify his remarks to Vima FM radio station, saying he was referring to government officials (without clarifying whether they are on the ‘give’ or on the ‘take’ side) and not to parliament deputies.

“No Syriza member has talked about bribed deputies but only about government officials,” he said.

Syriza leader Alexis Tsipras, DIMAR President Fotis Kouvelis, Independent Greeks President Panos Kammenos and deputy Parliament Speaker Yiannis Dragasakis (SYRIZA MP), have also been summoned to testify in the inquiry.