ATHENS (Reuters) - Greek opposition leader Alexis Tsipras on Tuesday promised to immediately scrap the country's EU/IMF bailout if he were elected, irrespective of the outcome of talks with lenders, in his strongest comments yet on the issue.
Tsipras, head of the radical leftist Syriza party, has long railed against the country's 240-billion-euro-bailout but in recent months has stressed the need for negotiation rather than unilateral moves.
Greece could face early elections next year depending on the outcome of a separate vote to elect a president and polls show Syriza would win if national elections were held now.
"We will replace the bailout with (Syriza's) programme from the initial days of our government, before and regardless of the outcome of the negotiation," Tsipras said, referring to Syriza's programme of reversing austerity cuts.
"This programme aimed at healing our wounds and restarting the economy will be implemented irrespective of, and beyond, the process of tough negotiations, which we know won't be easy."
(Reporting by Lefteris Papadimas, Writing by Deepa Babington)