Voting begins in Greece’s general elections

Athens, May 21 (EFE).- Polling stations opened in Greece at 7 am on Sunday for the country’s general elections.

Nearly 10 million citizens are eligible to cast their votes at 21,500 booths across the country until 7 pm to elect a new parliament and government.

According to the polls, only five of the 35 parties contesting the elections have a chance of securing the minimum 3 percent of the popular vote to enter the 300-seat parliament.

The conservative New Democracy Party of incumbent Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis is the favorite with 32 percent of the voting intention, 6 points ahead of the leftist Syriza party of former prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, which has 26 percent.

In third place, with 9 percent, is the social democratic Pasok-Kinal party, followed by the Communist Party of Greece, with 6.5 percent, the left-wing MerA25 party of former Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis, with 3.5 percent, and the far-right Greek Solution party, with 3.2 percent.

This is the first election in Greece since its exit from the European Union’s enhanced surveillance framework, imposed after its first bailout in 2012 to tackle the debt crisis.

With a clearly improved economic situation, Greeks on Sunday will choose between keeping the conservatives in power or making a shift to the left.

Mitsotakis presents himself as the only option to guarantee stability and keep Greece on the path of growth while Tsipras proposes to form a progressive government with Pasok-Kinal, which has yet to show its willingness to form a coalition with him.

Polls indicate that none of the parties will secure the minimum 45 percent of votes needed to get a majority of 151 seats in parliament.

In the event that no government is formed after these polls, new elections would be held in early July, in which the winning party could receive up to 50 bonus seats to enable it to get an absolute majority in parliament if it secured 37 percent of the votes. EFE


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