Syriza plans to govern in coalition with the small right-wing Independent Greeks party, the partner Tsipras chose after winning the last general election in January.
Their leader, Evangelos Meimarakis, soon congratulated Syriza on its victory, while other conservative leaders did not hesitate to speak of a relay in the leadership of the formation and a call to an extraordinary congress.
Smiling broadly as he voted in a schoolroom in a working-class suburb of Athens, Tsipras urged his fellow citizens to usher in a new era and “give a mandate for a strong government with a four-year horizon, which is what the country needs”. Such a government would have been assured of the stability needed to implement the tough reforms Mr Tsipras reluctantly agreed to in July in return for Greece’s €86 billion ($95 billion) bail-out.
However, the decision led to a split within Syriza, with rebels breaking off to form the new Popular Unity party, which advocates withdrawal from the Eurozone and failed to win any parliamentary seats in Sunday’s election.
Neo Nazi Golden Dawn secured a third place finish in the polls- up from the January elections with 7% of the vote and 18 seats in parliament.
The leader of Greece’s anti-austerity party Alexis Tsipras is celebrating after Syriza won the general election.
Antipathy to Greece’s more established political parties, widely blamed for misgoverning the country over decades and bringing about the crisis, appears to have outweighed disillusionment with Syriza’s climb-down on bailout terms. “And the third is to hold his party together”.
Creditors are expected to review progress of reforms as part of next month’s bailout.
That is again short of a majority, but Syriza will form a coalition with the nationalist Independent Greeks. “We have a clear mandate to finish with the old regime”, he said. “We are giving (him) a second chance”.
Let us hope that the tragic mistakes of the coalition’s last seven months in power will not be repeated and the new government will act more wisely.
In a victory speech to hundreds of cheering flag-waving supporters who turned out in evening heat on a central Athens” square, Tsipras said the victory would “turn the wheel” and “change the balance’ in Europe.