Greek elections: Prime Minister Mitsotakis wins big, but pushes for second round

Greek elections: Prime Minister Mitsotakis wins big, but pushes for second round
Credit: Kyriakos Mitsotakis/Twitter

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis' right-conservative New Democracy (ND) party won the parliamentary elections with 41% of the vote in Sunday's elections. Despite this surprisingly strong result, Mitsotakis is pushing for a second voting round to secure a majority.

Not all votes have yet been counted but according to an interior ministry forecast at 12:00 Mitsotakis' party can count on 146 seats in the 300-strong parliament – five seats short of an absolute majority. It is likely that Mitsotakis will opt for a second round of voting next month in order to gain an absolute majority and rule alone, rather than enter into a coalition.

"Hope won over pessimism and unity won over division. I am proud, I am also moved, as I feel very heavy responsibility for having such an impressive percentage on my shoulders," he said on Twitter. "I pledge to work even harder to honour your trust."

Mitsotakis spoke of a resounding election victory and said it "cleared the path" to a second round of voting, which he called "proof that New Democracy is getting the green light from the citizens to govern alone."

He said that a second round is needed to secure the absolute majority required to form a stable government. This round could possibly take place on 25 June. The left-wing opposition party Syriza, led by former Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, is trailing with about 20% of the vote – much lower than expected.

The results have come as a surprise to many, who assumed that the multiple scandals that surfaced during Mitsotakis' term would have impacted his campaign.

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The Greek premier had been under fire both internationally and domestically for his role at the heart of a large illegal spyware scandal: Mitsotakis is accused of having been involved in the spying of opposition politicians, journalists, business leaders, and even his own ministers, by using insidious software.

Additionally, the railway accident near the town of Larissa in late February triggered nationwide demonstrations after a collision between two trains killed 57 people. Many Greeks blamed the Mitsotakis government for neglecting to invest in the maintenance and modernisation of Greek railways.

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