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Ruling ND wins majority of local elections, opposition parties fail

Ruling New Democracy party has won  7 out of 13 regions of Greece and several municipalities in the first round of local elections on Sunday. The second round of elections next Sunday will determine whether prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis will materialize his goal of “13+3” that is winning all 13 regions plus the municipalities in the three biggest cities Athens, Thessaloniki and Piraeus.

Piraeus mayor was elected already on Sunday with impressive 70%, while voters will have the final say in Athens and Thessaloniki on October 15.

  • Turnout was just 52% across the country.
Despite the disasters such as wildfires in summer and heavy floods in September  ND candidates managed to gather majority of locals’ votes, even though they didn’t manage to collect the essential 43%+1 vote. Therefore, the second round will decide.
Opposition parties did not manage to achieve satisfactory results, especially main opposition left-wing SYRIZA that has been in serious troubles with inner-party rivalries.
Socialist PASOK achieved weak results, too, and only Communist KKE managed to enhance its percentages in cities.
Some examples from Sunday elections

Nikos Hardalias (ND), head of Civil Protection during Covid-19 pandemic and Deputy Defense Minister who ‘unofficially’ abandoned his post to run for Greece’s most populous region, Attica, won with 46.74 %.

Athens mayor Kostas Bakoyannis (ND), managed to get 41% of votes, he will race against Haris Doukas (PASOK) next Sunday. SYRIZA leader Stefanos Kasselakis said the party will support Doukas. Worth noting that only 38% of Athenians went to polling stations on October 8.

In Volos, the bully mayor Achilleas Beos won with 55.02% despite the flood destruction.

In Thessaly, central Greece, Kostas Agorastos (ND) received 41.37%, while main rival, Dimitris Kouretas, got over 34%. Agorastos, who got 58% in the first round in 2019, paid the price of his response to September’s disastrous floods.

In Nafplio, the mayor who threw excrement and garbage at his main rival”s house, is leading the race with 33.51%.

Elections results at interior ministry website: municipal hereregional here

PS we have the sh*t we deserve, apparently.

Why did Greeks vote as they did despite floods, high cost of living, skyrocketing food prices, just to name a few?

Because at local level, citizens have closer contact to candidates, They love to vote for nieces, nephews, neighbor’s children and children-in-law, and anyone who will bring them closer to political power, grant them a contract or get them a job.

Furthermore, opposition parties obviously offered no substantial alternative to locals’ needs.

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2 comments

  1. You’ve got to love Mitsotakis’ pragmatism. If I understand correctly, he was so desperate to achieve his “13+3” that I think in a couple of areas, where he knew he stood no chance of winning, ND supported the Socialist candidate who was virtually guaranteed to win. That way they can count that area as a win as well. Awesome!

  2. one of the things making local elections both uglier than they need be, as well as almost useless, is the government’s restriction that candidates must be listed as part of a party ballot and not run individually for various offices (e.g. village predistent, municipal council, mayor, all on a single ballot). this means that one cannot vote for whichever candidates one would want to but can only choose from only menu A or menu B, etc. This forces candidates to make all kinds of weird deals to suck up to one party or another to get onto their ballot, all the while also involving myriad other weird deals of trying to ensure that ‘most people in this area’ will vote from the particular menu A or B or whatever. It degrades the local elections to a very low level, and only the ones who suck up to the big parties successfully even have a chance.
    the ever lower turnout directly reflects this.