Athens, Jun 25 (EFE)- Around 21,500 polling booths in Greece opened at 7 am on Sunday for the second general elections in less than five weeks to elect the new parliament and government with nearly 10 million registered voters.
According to polls, seven of the total 30 parties in the fray are likely to cross the threshold of minimum 3 percent votes to secure a seat in the 300-member parliament.
Incumbent Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis from the conservative New Democracy party is being seen as the frontrunner in the elections with about 40 percent support in the polls, double that of the left-wing Syriza led by former PM Alexis Tsipras (20 percent).
The backing that the two parties have received have remained unchanged from what they received in the May 21, polls, although it would be sufficient for Mitsotakis to get 39 percent of the votes to secure an absolute majority in the house.
This would be possible thanks to a electoral law that provides for a 50-seat bonus to the leading party, which had been removed in the May elections, resulting in a deadlock in which all the attempts to form a government had failed.
The social-democratic PASOK-KINAL party is the third in polls with 12 percent support, followed by the Communist Party (6.5 percent) and the nationalist Greek Solution (4 percent).
Two other parties that seem set to enter the parliament for the first time are Course of Freedom (4 percent) led by former Syriza lawmaker Zoe Konstantopoulou and the ultra-right NIKI (victory) led by theologian Dimitris Natsios.
Conservative Mitsotakis has presented himself as the only option to form a stable government that keeps the country on the growth path and promised an eventual jump towards Europe in terms of salaries and life quality.
Tsipras has called for an economy that works for everyone and after the debacle in May – when Syriza lost a third of its support compared to 2019 – has called on voters to make it a “strong opposition party.”
Although the conservative government has been unable to stem the surging inflation in food and basic necessities, its term has witnessed the economy grow at a rate higher than Europe and major foreign investment.
If Mitsotakis secures an absolute majority on Monday and forms the government, he would be the first leader to be reelected after a four-year term since the financial crisis began in 2010.
The polling booths are set to remain open until 7 pm.
The first results are expected to start trickling in about one and a-half hour later and definitive trends might be available by 9 pm. EFE