ATHENS, Greece, May 7 (UPI) -- Greece's government was mired in uncertainty Monday, the day after parliamentary elections left the country without a governing coalition, officials said.
Ekathimerini reported Conservative leader Antonis Samaras said he had failed to engineer a new coalition to lead the nation, which is in dire financial straits. The left-leaning SYRIZA group, which finished second Sunday, will now get a chance to put together a ruling coalition, the Greek newspaper said.
"We did everything we could," said Samaras, whose New Democracy Party won the biggest share of the vote. "It was impossible [to form a government]. I handed back the mandate [to President Karolos Papoulias]."
Papoulias' office said the president would meet SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras Tuesday afternoon.
While Greek law gives the front-runner three days to form a government, a New Democracy official told the private television channel Antenna that Samaras had "not wanted to waste time at such a crucial moment for the nation," The New York Times reported.
Should Tsipras fail to achieve a workable coalition, the Socialist leader, Evangelos Venizelos, would get the next opportunity to form a coalition government, the U.S. newspaper said.
If still no agreement is reached, Papoulias would bring together the leaders of all parties in Parliament in an attempt to broker a deal. If that were to come to naught, the president would appoint an interim government to bring the country to new elections in 30 days.