The chairman of New Democracy and current prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis refused to form a new government despite the victory. Greece will most likely have a short caretaker government and another vote in June. Photo by Aris Messinis, AFP
Sunday’s parliamentary elections in Greece brought an interesting situation: the ruling right-wing conservative New Democracy won with an unexpected margin; however, on Monday, this party rejected the possibility of forming a new government. Instead, she began preparations for the next election.
According to the consensus of observers, the main reason is the possibility to use the old and new electoral rules approved in 2020 precisely for the next election. The rules under which elections were held in 2019, for example, reward parties that get over twenty-five percent of the vote with bonus mandates. Specifically, the New Democracy could easily secure a single-color majority with the existing support.
“New Democracy won Sunday’s election with 40.8 percent of the vote, which according to the current rules gives it 146 parliamentary seats out of three hundred. In the next elections, which will already be held according to the new rules, she would receive over 170 for a similar profit. Therefore, despite the current victory, she wants to immediately go to new elections.” he explained journalist Jorgos Christides in the Deutsche Welle special.
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The first three parties that crossed the three percent threshold for entering parliament are now given the chance to form a government after the elections. Each is given a three-day mandate for exploratory meetings. If none of them is able and willing to form a government and negotiate further on its program, the head of state — today, President Katerina Sakellaropoulos — will call for new elections.
The parties do not have to exhaust the three-day mandate; it can even be returned immediately. That’s it promised to do now and the chairman of the victorious New Democracy, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, so few doubt that the country will really head for the next elections. According to most estimates, they should take place at the end of June.
“Based on the results of the current elections, it is almost impossible to form a government without New Democracy. All the other parties would have to come to an agreement, (which means…) three mutually at odds left-wing entities and extreme right-wing populists.” she reported already on Monday night on France 24 Nathalie Savaricasová, the station’s Greek correspondent.
New Democracy won in all but one region. The left-wing Syriza unexpectedly lacked the votes of young voters this time. WmC graphics
Mitsotakis’s New Democracy, which in 2019 replaced the left-wing Syriza led by Alexis Tsipras, has ruled Greece since the last election. Polls before the current elections predicted a new victory for New Democracy, but only by a few percentage points. In the end, it won 40.8 percent while Syriza got 20.1 — eleven percentage points less than in the last election.
Observers agree in the first analyses, that the victory of the New Democracy was ensured by the desire of a decisive part of the Greeks for stability. On the contrary, the effects of two recent events, which strengthened the opposition in the polls, did not have such a big impact: the wiretapping scandal of 2022 (the so-called Greece’s Watergate) and the collision of two trains in Thessaly, in which he died in February this year 57 people. The opposition framed the tragic accident in the campaign as an example of the consequences of the Mitsotakis government’s approach to issues of security and state administration in general.
The opposition also tried to take advantage of the increase in the cost of living and housing prices in recent years. The government was bragging again economic growth. The topics of the elections were also access to refugees, the question of the extent of territorial waters, relations with North Macedonia, corruption and energy.
Three smaller parliamentary parties managed to gain slightly (social democratic PASOK +3.4 percent to 11.5; communist KKE +1.9 percent to 7.2; national populist Greek Solution +0.8 percent to 4.5 percent. From the parliament by contrast, Janis Varoufakiste’s MeRA25 was eliminated, receiving only 2.6 percent of the vote.
Source: Deník referendum by denikreferendum.cz.
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