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Greece - Elections June 2019

After a disappointing showing in the European Parliament, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras' Syriza party gave in to demands to hold an early election. Voters punished the ruling Syriza party for broken promises in the European Parliament election 27 May 2019. The conservative New Democracy party's nine-point lead over Syriza was so devastating, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras announced a snap general election at the end of June, four months early. "The result ... is not up to par with our expectations," Tsipras said. When Greeks elected Syriza in January 2015, the party promised to end austerity and rip up Greece's onerous agreements with its creditors. Instead, it agreed to a third bailout loan which carried further cuts to pensions and higher taxes.

The River, a center-right reformist party, the Centre Union, a right-wing populist party, and the nationalist Independent Greeks party, Syriza's erstwhile coalition partner. None won any seats in the EU election and are unlikely to survive the next general election.

A Eurasia Group note released on 14 January 2019 said that late May 2019 was the earliest plausible date for parliamentary elections, adding that the main conservative opposition New Democracy party was expected to win an absolute majority. Eurasia Group described Kammenos’s departure from the SYRIZA-led coalition as “an opportunity for Tsipras to rid his government of ANEL’s nationalist flair and to appeal to moderate and centrist voters” ahead of national elections which were formally scheduled to take place no later than October.

However, Eurasia Group said the leftist premier was likely to bring parliamentary elections forward to late May. “Doing so could help SYRIZA cut its losses in light of its declining support. The government also calculates that holding parliamentary elections in conjunction with local and European elections will give voters other avenues to air their discontent with the government,” it said.

Eurasia Group added that Kyriakos Mitsotakis’s New Democracy party is likely to win an absolute majority. “Irrespective of timing, we think main opposition New Democracy led by Kyriakos Mitsotakis will win the next election with an absolute majority,” it said.

Tsipras won a confidence vote in parliament on 16 January 2019, clearing a major hurdle for Greece's approval of an accord to end a dispute over Macedonia's name and averting the prospect of a snap election. "Today the Greek parliament gave a vote of confidence in stability. We received a vote of confidence with our only concern to continue to address the needs and interests of the Greek people," Tsipras told journalists after the vote. Tsipras called the confidence motion after his right-wing coalition partner Panos Kammenos quit the government on January 13 in protest over the name deal signed between Athens and Skopje last year. Parliament gave Tsipras 151 votes, meeting the threshold required in the 300-member assembly. His leftist Syriza party had 145 seats in parliament while additional support was gleaned by defectors of Kammenos's ANEL party and independents gave him six more votes.

The parliamentary election in Greece was to be held in fall 2019, when the government's four-year-long term of office expires, not in May 2019, along with the election of the Greek representatives to the European Parliament, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras confirmed. In spite of media reports that the Greek government could hold both the European Parliament and the Hellenic Parliament elections in May 2019, Tsipras said on 28 August 2018 that the elections to the country's legislative body would be held after the European Parliament election, not along with it. According to these scenarios, polls will be held for parliamentary elections on 13 October 2019 , along with municipal elections.

For a long time, the Interior Minister had expressed the view that the next municipal elections, to be held in a simple proportional system, should be determined in October 2019. Mr. Skourtetis, speaking at the joint KEDE-ENPE conference, said: "The self-governing elections will be disconnected from the European elections, which will take place on the second Sunday of October 2019".

Regarding tactics, one perception in triple elections was the possibility of disrupting the electoral mechanism of New Democracy, since much of it will devote itself to the personal campaign of the cross. The other approach, which wanted the elections in October, was to argue that the number of citizens involved in municipal lists is so large that it makes impossible any rational prediction of the effect of the municipal elections on the parliamentary elections.

Apart from the tactics, divergences also emerged in the strategy. Mr Scourletis is reportedly taking the view that SYRIZA must move "to the left" in order to "repatriate" the voters of 2015 who have distanced themselves. In order to achieve this "repatriation," moves expressing the "left-handed soul", ie institutionalization of elements of the traditional left-wing program, are preferred in such a way that they do not signal that they are not related to electoral tactics.

With the system of simple proportional and - according to the project's initiators - there is a serious possibility of a coalition of Alexis Tsipras with Phofi Gennimatas and possibly a third party in order to form a strong government majority. Here, of course, it should be noted that the parliamentary majority of any government must provide the 180 required to ensure the election of the President of the Republic in 2020 and to avoid a tedious third course towards the polls.

The key actions that would shape the winning show is: Safe output to markets, regulation of debt , repair injustices against vulnerable groups whose income shrank by understandings, and return to the normality of labor rights. In all these, government officials add the certainty that the Greek government has the confidence of creditors and institutions, while they hope that with his attitude to national issues and to Middle East geostrategies, Alexis Tsipras strengthens his leadership profile in Old Epirus.

Tsipras attempted the narrative of the conclusion of a new social contract with the people. A social contract for issues of democratization of society and the functioning of institutions and democracy. It will spread the "fanfare" to all the issues that the previous governments feared: Members 'privileges, parliamentary immunity, the functioning of Justice, the electoral system, citizens' involvement in the legislative process, state-church relations, and a number of other issues taboo for decades.

When Greeks headed to the ballot box on May 26, the country’s ruling, left-wing Syriza party found itself facing calls for a snap election after the right-wing New Democracy surged in the European Parliament. Syriza lost by more than nine percentage points to New Democracy, marking the largest ever defeat in European elections in Greece. While New Democracy secured 33 percent of the vote, Syriza shored up around 24 percent. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who took office after Syriza came to power in January 2015 elections, complied with the calls for early elections. Previously slated for October, Greek elections will now take place on July 7.

Despite New Democracy’s apparent advantage, it may prove difficult to secure an absolute majority in the 300-seat parliament, meaning the party will likely have to strike up a coalition. The Golden Dawn, a neo-fascist party that first surged in 2012 national elections, lost two seats in the European elections. However, a new far-right party, Greek Solution, picked up two seats. Golden Dawn suffered to drum up additional support in recent years, although it became the third largest party in the parliament after the 2015 vote. But Syriza also faced criticism from the left, chiefly over its economic policies and its handling of the refugee crisis that erupted in 2015 and saw hundreds of thousands of people pass through the Mediterranean country.

Syriza disappointed much of its support base. Many view the left-wing party as having reneged on its promises to support struggling workers and others hit hard by the financial crisis. There is still 18-percent unemployment, others who have jobs but are bitter for other reasons, and local societies who are very unhappy about the buildup of refugees and migrants on a handful of Aegean Islands. Syriza supporters, however, point to the country’s 26-percent unemployment and more than 50-percent youth unemployment at the time the party was first voted in four years ago.

The conservative ND party was projected to win 39.8 percent of the vote. That could translate into 154 of the Parliament's 300 seats, allowing the former opposition party to move into government without the need to cooperate with others. Its parliamentary clout could still rise, depending on how many smaller parties clear the three-percent hurdle to sit in the Athens legislature. New Democracy promised growth-orientated policies, lowering taxes, lowering social security contributions. It all remains to be seen how feasible these are because the fiscal restrains remain.

The early count puts Tsipras' leftist Syriza party on 31.5 percent. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras conceded defeat in a general election to Kyriakos Mitsotakis after exit polls indicated a clear victory for centre-right New Democracy (ND) party. "The citizens have made their choice. We fully respect the popular vote," Tsipras said in his concession speech from central Athens, adding that he had phoned Mitsotakis to congratulate him.

After winning the 07 July 2019 election in a landslide victory, Kyrikos Mitsotakis was sworn in as prime minister 08 July 2019. He took over from Alexis Tsipras, who led Greece through the final years of its international bailouts. Mitsotakis' New Democracy party won 39.8% of the vote, giving him 158 seats in the 300-member parliament, a comfortable governing majority. Tsipras' Coalition of the Radical Left, or Syriza, garnered 31.5%. The far-right Golden Dawn, Greece's third-largest party during the height of the financial crisis, failed to make the 3% threshold to enter parliament.

Harvard-educated Mitsotakis is the son of former Prime Minister Constantine Mitsotakis, one of the country's longest-serving parliamentarians. His sister Dora Bakoyannis is a former minister and Athens's first female mayor.

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Page last modified: 04-09-2019 19:14:34 ZULU