Greece’s conservative New Democracy party leader, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, has vowed to accelerate reforms following a landslide victory in the country’s second election in just five weeks. Mitsotakis secured a comfortable parliamentary majority, granting him a second four-year term. His supporters gathered outside the party headquarters in Athens, waving blue and white party flags and setting off fireworks to celebrate. The party secured just over 40.5% of the vote, crushing their main opposition, the left-wing Syriza party, which was struggling to reach 18%. The win came amid domestic economic issues in the forefront of voters’ minds.
A New Chapter in Greece’s Course
“With today’s electoral result, Greece opens a new, historic chapter in its course,” Mitsotakis said in a televised statement. The Prime Minister added that the voters have “given us a strong mandate to move faster on the course of the big changes our country needs.” He stated that his second term in office “can transform Greece at a dynamic pace of development which will increase salaries and reduce inequality, with better and free public healthcare, with a more effective and digital state and a strong country.”
Aftermath of Migrant Ship Disaster
Overall, Mitsotakis’ second election win sets the platform to push for reforms that can strengthen Greece’s economy and help resolve issues faced by the country.
Greek Elections: Mitsotakis’ Conservative Party Wins a Majority
Mitsotakis’ conservative New Democracy party has won 158 of the 300 seats in the Greek Parliament in Sunday’s snap elections. The winning party, thanks to a change in the electoral law that grants the winner bonus seats, secured a clear majority in the Parliament. Voter turnout, however, was low at just under 53% of eligible voters.
In his platform, Mitsotakis campaigned for securing economic growth and political stability in Greece as the country recovers from a ten-year-long financial crisis. His competitor and the former Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras, struggled to rally his supporters after splinter parties were formed by some of his former associates. Tsipras served as Prime Minister during some of the most turbulent times of Greece’s financial crisis from 2015 to 2019 and faced a defeat in the previous election held in May 2019.
The election results reveal eight parties surpassing the 3% threshold to enter Parliament. Among these parties, a far-right party supported by a jailed former lawmaker from the Nazi-inspired and now-banned Golden Dawn party, and an ultra-religious party are included.
“The electoral result is obviously negative for us,” a subdued Tsipras said in a televised statement after his poor performance. “We have suffered a serious electoral defeat. But I believe that the electoral result is mainly negative for society and for democracy,” he added, pointing to the three small right-wing parties winning enough votes to make it into Parliament.
It remains to be seen what Tsipras’ future will be within the party and the course it will take moving forward.
Greece’s New Democracy Party Wins Election
After four years of leftist rule by the Syriza party, Greece has elected Kyriakos Mitsotakis and his pro-business New Democracy party to lead the country. Mitsotakis, a Harvard graduate with a prominent political family, has campaigned on fiscal responsibility and economic growth for Greece as a member of the eurozone. The strategy has been successful so far, with New Democracy winning crucial Socialist strongholds in Crete and surrounding areas of Athens.
Mitsotakis has faced scrutiny over scandals such as wiretapping senior politicians and journalists, and a deadly train crash that exposed poor safety measures in public transport. However, his efforts to lower unemployment and promote economic growth were well-received by voters. Insurance company employee Konstantinos spoke highly of Mitsotakis, saying “our expectations are that the country will continue the path of development that it has had in recent years.”
Sunday’s vote featured an electoral system that grants a bonus of between 25 and 50 seats to the winning party depending on performance. This system made it easier for New Democracy to win the required 151 seats to form a government. Despite criticism, Mitsotakis is poised to take Greece down a new path of financial responsibility and pro-business policies.