Greeks have chose to grant Alexis Tsipras a second term in office as prime minister in a general election that returned his leftist Syriza party in first place but was also marked by an unprecedented low turnout of 55 per cent.
It is the third time this year Greeks have voted, after January elections that brought Tsipras to power on an anti-bailout platform, and a July referendum he called urging voters to reject creditor reform proposals.
The result was a surprise to those that relied heavily on opinion polls ahead of the elections, which showed a neck-and-neck race between Syriza and conservative opposition party New Democracy (ND).
With around 90 percent of votes counted, the Syriza party looked set to secure close to an absolute majority in the country’s 300-seat parliament, with a smaller nationalist party expected to join forces and push it over the top.
Less than two hours after polls closed Sunday evening, New Democracy leader Evangelos Meimarakis conceded defeat and Tsipras said shortly after that he would seek to build a government with former junior coalition partner Independent Greeks.
Tsipras, who has promised to keep pursuing debt restructuring, said during his victory speech Sunday that he would also clamp down on corruption within the country.
Before the results had called for a mandate for a “strong fighting government that could last four years and help Greece force through the reforms required to put the country back on a path to prosperity”.
“The Greek people have given us a clear mandate to discard whatever kept us stuck in the past”, he said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has sent a telegram to Alexis Tsipras congratulating him on the victory of his party Coalition of the Radical Left (Syriza) in the elections to the Greek parliament, the Kremlin press service reported on Sept.21.
All in all this suggests that the decision is becoming ever more closely balanced with a good chance that we still see rates rise in December.
“I’m sorry but Syriza doesn’t exist any more”. To the disappointment of Greece’s creditors, that broader coalition is not now likely to happen: neither party is keen to serve alongside ANEL. To Potami had 4%, and the Union of Centrists 3.38%. “I voted, but with a heavy heart”, said 29-year old Athens-based researcher Despina Biri.