Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Greek centre-right wins election, but will need one more vote to form government

ATHENS — Greece’s prime minister, center-right leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis, confirmed Monday that he will call for a second national election within weeks because he does not have a sufficient majority in parliament to rule alone despite losing . Cons in half a century

With 99.55% of the votes counted on Monday morning, Mitsotakis’ New Democracy party won 40.79% of the vote, more than double that of the main opposition group, leftist Syriza, which won 20.7%. Samajwadi Pasok was third with 11.46%. The participation was 61%.

President Katerina Sakellaropoulou formally accused Mitsotakis of trying to form a coalition government on Monday. But in a brief televised conversation, Vijeta said he would return the mandate in a few hours as he did not see any chance of success. The Prime Minister expressed hope that new elections could be held at the earliest, on 25 June.

New Democracy’s margin of victory far exceeded poll forecasts and was the largest since 1974, when Greece’s first democratic elections were held after the fall of a seven-year military dictatorship.

Fotis Hatzos of Athens said that while he expected the ruling party to win, their landslide victory took him by surprise.

“What can you say, (Mitsotakis) destroyed them,” he told The Associated Press. “He won fairly.”

Markets welcomed an apparent end to the political uncertainty that plagued the NATO member and the European Union following the 2009 financial crisis. The general index on the Athens Stock Exchange was up more than 7% at Monday’s open. , and Greek bonds were also showing good health.

But the system of proportional representation implemented in Sunday’s elections meant the ruling party won only 146 of parliament’s 300 seats, five short of a government majority. The second election, expected to be held on July 2 at the latest, will overhaul the previous system that gave a bonus of up to 50 seats to the party with the most votes. This would guarantee Mitsotakis a comfortable majority for a second term.

The 55-year-old told the press on Monday that he “sees no way for the current parliament to form a government” that can overcome the “obstacle” of the electoral system.

“That’s why I will return the mandate to him this afternoon so that we can move on to new elections,” he said. If other parties fail to form a coalition, he said, new elections could be held “as soon as possible, maybe even on June 25.” “The country needs a strong and stable government with a four-year term, and the sooner this is resolved, the better.”

Mitsotakis had already predicted that he would not seek a coalition partner regardless of the outcome of the election, and instead defended the stabilizing influence of a strong and undivided government.

Once Mitsotakis returns the presidential mandate, it will pass to Syriza leader Alexis Tsipras and then to PASOK leader Nikos Androlakis, neither of whom has any realistic chance of success. Each has a maximum period of three days to try to form an alliance. Once the substitutes are exhausted, a judge will be appointed as caretaker prime minister and elections will be held.

Tsipras, 48, called on Sunday night to congratulate Mitsotakis.

“The result for Syriza is exceptionally negative,” he said in his first remarks. “There are winners and losers in a fight.”

Tsipras, who was prime minister from 2015 to 2019, said his party would hold a meeting to study the results and their reasons. “However, the election cycle is not over yet. “We do not have the luxury of time. We must immediately make all necessary changes so that we can fight the next final and crucial election battle on the best possible terms.

Mitsotakis, a Harvard-educated former bank executive, came to power in 2019 on a promise of reforms to make it easier to do business and has vowed to continue cutting taxes, boosting investment and boosting middle-class employment.

He is credited with successfully managing the pandemic in Greece and two crises with neighboring Turkey, as well as high growth and job creation following Greece’s financial crisis between 2009 and 2018, although a wiretapping scandal and rail disaster have dented his popularity. influenced.

Nation World News Desk
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