Greek lawmakers are voting Monday for a new president of the republic. But they could end up campaigning for reelection if the governing coalition's candidate fails to get a constitutionally required three-fifths majority.

In two previous ballots, Stavros Dimas, 73, a conservative former minister and European commissioner, won 160 and 168 votes, respectively. He must now get 180 votes in the 300-member Parliament. If not, early elections will take place in late January or early February.

The new parliament can elect a president by a simple majority of those voting

With polls showing left-wing opposition Syriza ahead, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras has said an election could be "disastrous" while heavily indebted Greece is negotiating with its creditors. Syriza opposes the terms of the bailout deals which kept Greece from defaulting.