Greece’s parliament was formally dissolved Wednesday by a decree, officially marking the start of a monthlong election campaign, reports The Wall Street Journal.

The decree, cosigned by President Karolos Papoulias and Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, sets January 25 as the date for new elections and announced that parliament would reconvene on February 5 following those elections.

On Tuesday Samaras had asked the president to dissolve the legislature after it failed to elect a new head of state for Greece.

On Monday the Greek Parliament failed to approve former European Commissioner Stavros Dimas, the presidential candidate nominated by Samaras, in the third and last round of voting on Monday.

The previous two rounds were also unsuccessful and by constitution, after three unsuccessful attempts, the Parliament has to be dissolved and early parliamentary elections have to be called.

Later Wednesday, Greece is due to swear in caretaker interior and justice ministers, who will preside over the election process.

The elections, coming some 18 months ahead of schedule, are expected to pit the governing New Democracy party of Samaras against rival left-wing Syriza, which firmly opposes the austerity measures in Greece.

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