ATHENS—Greece’s ruling New Democracy party won a landslide parliamentary election on Sunday but fell just short of the criteria needed to form a single government, raising the possibility of a runoff vote within a month.
By the time most votes were tallied, the Conservative New Democracies had a commanding lead of 40.8%, ahead of the 20.1% of the radical left SY Liza, who came to power from 2015 to 2019.
Greece’s interior ministry predicted that the new democracy could win 145 seats, six short of an absolute majority.
Greek President Katerina Sakelopoulou will give the top three parties – New Democracy, SYRIZA and the Socialist Party PASOK – three days in order from Monday to form a coalition government.
If all else fails, Sakeraloplou plans to appoint an interim government to prepare for new elections in about a month.
Prime Minister and New Democratic Party leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis has repeatedly said he wants a strong one-party government and said he believed he was given a clear mandate.
“The results of the vote are decisive. They show that the new democracy has the approval of the people and a strong and autonomous rule,” he said, referring to the party in downtown Athens. told a cheering crowd outside headquarters.
The result is a surprising boost for Mitsotakis, who had to contend with wiretapping scandals, the COVID-19 pandemic, the cost of living crisis, and a deadly railroad accident in February that sparked public outrage. became.
Similarly, it was a disaster for SYRIZA and its leader Alexis Tsipras. The party surged to power in 2015 on the back of voter dissatisfaction with other parties’ handling of the debt crisis that devastated Greece’s economy for more than a decade.
The MeRA25 movement, led by former Syrian Finance Minister Yannis Varoufakis, who was forced to resign by President Tsipras in turbulent 2015 negotiations with financial institutions, failed to win a seat in parliament.
math is not enough
Without Mr. Mitsotakis, the outlier numbers don’t add up, even if they are given a task. SYRIZA has 72 seats, PASOK has 41 seats, the communist KKE Party has 26 seats, and the right-wing Greek Solution has 16 seats.
The KKE says it will not join any alliance, but Hellenic Solution criticizes both New Democracy and SYRIZA.
Tsipras said he congratulated Mitsotakis on the phone with the win and said the race was not over yet.
“There are wins and losses in battles,” he says. “The election cycle is not over yet…a second election is very likely.”
Greece nearly exited the euro at the peak of its 2015 debt crisis and was forced to seek a third bailout from international financial institutions under the watchful eye of Prime Minister Tsipras.
Mitsotakis, who was elected in 2019, has claimed himself to be a safe collaborator in his campaign to win the votes of nearly 10 million Greeks, pushing for wage hikes and pension cuts during the crisis. had promised
Panos Koriastasis, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Political Science at the Peloponnese University, said the result paid off for Mitsotakis’ focus on improving the financial situation of the Greek people.
“He also made clear suggestions such as: [how] He will take power in the autonomous government. A coalition government to replace SYRIZA was not very realistic as other governments refused to cooperate,” he said.
Greece holds elections every four years for a fixed 300 parliament.
By Renee Maltezou and Lefteris Papadimas