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The Introduction of the Parliamentary System in Hellas

In 1875 the newly built House of Parliament was inaugurated and the parliamentary system was introduced in Hellas. The reasons of its introduction were the contradiction between the constitution of 1864 and the continuing interference of the King in the political life of the country.

On the 29th of June 1874, Charilaos Trikoupis published an anonymous article with the title: 'Who's fault is it?' in the newspaper "Kairoi" (Times). The article dealt with one of the main malfunctions of the parliamentary system, that is the formation of governments by parliament minority groups. In this way, Trikoupis was opposing the interference of the Crown, who had the right to order parliament minority groups to form governments.

Charilaos Trikoupis

A year later after the publication of the article, King George ordered Trikoupis to form a government in order to guide the country to elections. After the election of 1875, King George I claimed that he will entrust the formation of government to deputies who will have the trust of the parliamentary majority. This was more a moral binding rather than a constitutional one. With the establishment of the so-called "principle of trust", the parliamentary system was introduced in Hellas.

The "principle of trust" is directly related to the interchange of the two most powerful parties in governing the country, a phenomenon that characterized the Greek political scene since 1880.

An 1885 Humoristic Depiction of the Phenomenon of the Constantly Alternating Ruling Parties