The outgoing Greek Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakiswhose right-wing party largely won the elections yesterday’s legislative sessions, proposed new elections this Monday to try to achieve an absolute majority.
The party leader New Democracy (ND) said during a meeting with the President of the Republic, Katerina Sakellaropoulouwho wants to organize new elections, “possibly on June 25”.
mitsotakis he estimated that there was no way to form a new government under the current parliament. Winner of Sunday’s elections, in which they had to renew the 300 seats Parliament (unicameral), his party won the 40.8% of the votes, according to final results.
Triumph of the ruling party and call for new elections
Its main rival, the left formation syrizaof the former head of government Alexis Tsipras, registered a severe setback by obtaining only 20% of the votes. Even in Arta, the municipality of the opposition candidate’s ancestors, in the northwest of the country, Syriza came in second.
On Sunday night, at the ND headquarters in Athens, Mitsotakis likened his election victory to a “political earthquake.” The 55-year-old leader, who has governed Greece since 2019, was close to obtaining an absolute majority with the 146 seats obtained by his formation. He needed five more to be able to form a government alone.
The next elections will be held through a different electoral system. The winning party will get a bonus of up to 50 deputies, which would guarantee an absolute majority, according to their calculations.
This Monday, the left-wing newspaper Efsyn collected in headlines the “shock and admiration”, the mixed feelings of the voters of Syriza and New Democracy regarding the results.
New elections to form a majority
The pro-government newspaper Proto Thema highlighted that the 20-point difference between the two main formations was the largest recorded since the restoration of democracy in Greece in 1974.
Mitsotakis himself acknowledged that “the great victory” had “exceeded [sus] own expectations”. “Together, we will fight from tomorrow so that, in the next elections, what the citizens have already decided -that is, an autonomous ND- is confirmed mathematically”, stressed the conservative leader.
According to the Constitution, the President of the Republic, Katerina Sakellaroupoulou, must give each party a period of three days to try to form a government. For his part, former Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, noting his defeat, urged his supporters to wage “a second crucial electoral fight.”
Everything points to the fact that the Greeks never forgave him for the outcome of his fight with the European Union during the turbulent negotiations of the 2015 bailout plan.
How is the electoral system in Greece?
Back then, the country was mired in a severe financial crisis and on the brink of exiting the euro. In the end, Tsipras had to implement drastic austerity measures, demanded by the European Union, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank, whose consequences continue to affect the daily life of the Greeks.
On the other hand, the voters did not seem to punish Kyriakos Mitsotakis for the management of the railway catastrophe that caused 57 deaths at the end of February and that led to massive demonstrations against his Executive, accused of negligence in terms of security.
On the contrary, voters seemed to reward the economic balance of the leader, characterized by the fall in unemployment, a growth of almost 6% last year and an increase in tourist activity.
Even so, the loss of purchasing power due to inflation and low wages continues to be a headache for many families. Inflation was close to 10% last year, and the country’s public debt continues to be more than 170% of its GDP.
Mitsotakis, son of a former prime minister and uncle of the current mayor of Athens, was also plagued by a scandal of illegal wiretapping of political leaders and journalists.
In March, the European Parliament denounced the existence of “serious threats to the rule of law and fundamental rights” in Greece.