ATHENS, June 25 (Xinhua) — The leader of Greece’s conservative New Democratic Party, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, vowed to speed up the pace of reforms after Sunday’s landslide victory in the country’s second election in five weeks. The near-complete results show he has a parliamentary majority to form a government for a second four-year term.
Jubilant supporters gathered outside the party headquarters in Athens, cheering, applauding and waving blue and white party flags. Nearly complete results showed his party won 40.5 percent of the vote, beating his main rival, the leftist Syriza, which was struggling to reach 18 percent, two points lower than in the last election in May. percent.
Mitsotakis said in the televised broadcast that his second term as prime minister “could transform Greece at a dynamic pace, raising wages and reducing inequality, providing better and free public health care, building more An effective digital state and a strong state”. Statement on election results.
Voters, he said, “put an end to a traumatic cycle of lies and poison that has held back the country and divided society.”
Sunday’s vote came a week after a migrant boat capsized and sank off Greece’s west coast, leaving hundreds dead and missing and calling into question the actions of Greek authorities and the country’s strict immigration policies. But one of the Mediterranean’s worst disasters in recent years did not affect the election, with domestic economic issues topping the list of voters’ concerns.
Mitsotakis’ party is expected to win 158 of the 300-seat parliament thanks to changes to electoral laws that give the winning party extra seats. The last election in May was held under proportional representation, and although he won 41 percent of the vote, five seats short of a majority, he decided to seek a stronger mandate in a second election rather than Seeks to form a coalition government with smaller parties.
However, turnout was low on Sunday, with just under 53 percent of eligible voters turning out, compared with just over 61 percent for the May ballot.
A total of eight parties crossed the 3% threshold to enter parliament, including an ultra-religious party and a far-right party backed by an imprisoned former MP from the Nazi-inspired, now-outlawed Golden Party. dawn party. The number of parties entering parliament affects the number of seats the winner will have.
Mitsotakis, 55, is campaigning on ensuring economic growth and political stability as Greece recovers from nearly a decade of brutal financial crisis.
His main rival, Alexis Tsipras, 48, was prime minister from 2015 to 2019, the most turbulent years of Greece’s financial crisis. His performance on Sunday had him fighting for his political survival. He has struggled to unite his voter base after a poor performance in May’s election, a task complicated by a divisive party formed by some of his former colleagues.
Speaking after the vote in a community in western Athens, Tsipras appeared to concede that his party would be in opposition for the next four years, even though the vote was still in progress.
“This crucial election will determine not only who will rule the country, but our lives for the next four years, the quality of our democracy,” Tsipras said. “It will determine whether we will have unfettered government or not. Or a strong opposition. This role can only be played by Syriza.”
Mitsotakis is a Harvard graduate and hails from one of Greece’s most prominent political families. His late father Constantine Mitsotakis was prime minister in the 1990s, his sister was foreign minister and his nephew is the current mayor of Athens. The young Mitsotakis has vowed to rebrand Greece as a pro-business, fiscally responsible member of the euro zone.
So far, the strategy has worked. The NDP defeated Syriza in May, crucially winning socialist strongholds in Crete and low-income areas around Athens, some for the first time.
The Mitsotakis government has been hit by a series of scandals late in its term, including wiretapping of senior politicians and journalists, and a fatal train crash on Feb. 28 that exposed poor public transport safety. Voters seem happy to have a prime minister back in power. Economic growth has been achieved and unemployment has been reduced.
“Our expectation is that the country will continue on the path it has developed in recent years,” said Konstantinos, an insurance employee, arriving early in the morning at a polling station in northern Athens with his new bride, Marietta. Her wedding dress was bought directly from their wedding reception. He asked that his last name not be used.
Sunday’s vote was conducted under an electoral system that rewards winning parties with between 25 and 50 seats depending on their performance, making it easier for parties to win more than the required 151 seats in the 300-member parliament seats. Form a government. (Associated Press)
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