Greece: Mitsotakis Sworn In As PM After Election Victory


By Eleni Stamatoukou

Kyriakos Mitsotakis, leader of the conservative New Democracy party, on Monday received the mandate to form a government from President Katerina Sakellaropoulou and was sworn in for a second consecutive four-year term as Greece’s Prime Minister.

“We have a strong mandate and a parliamentary majority and our government will be a government of hard work and practical results,” Mitsotakis said.

He said Greek democracy was mature and able to handle temporary upheavals but that the eight-party parliament had sounded the “death rattle of simple proportional representation”, reported Athens Macedonia news agency.

New Democracy, ND, won the second round of parliamentary elections on Sunday by a landslide with  40.55 per cent of the vote, leaving the left-wing SYRIZA party far behind on 17.84 per cent.

SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras, after the announcement of the results, spoke about the negative result for his party and about the entry of the extreme right into the new parliament, while he also raised issues of the party’s reconstruction.

“Party members will be called upon to judge us all and devise the strategy that meets these difficult circumstances. It goes without saying that in this collective creative process of reconstruction, I will be the first to put myself to the judgement of party members,” he said.

After 99.69 per cent of the votes were counted and with a turnout of 52.82 per cent, the breakdown of votes and seats was as follows: ND won 40.55 per cent of the votes and 158 of the 300 seats seats; SYRIZA won 17.84 per cent and 48 seats; the centre-left PASOK won 11.86 per cent and 32 seats; the Greek Communist Party, KKE, won 7.69 per cent and 20 seats; and the far-right party Elliniki Lysi: 4.44 per cent and 11 seats.

Analysts were surprised by the entry of two more new far-right parties into parliament. The new far-right party Spartiates [Spartans] won 4.64 per cent and 12 seats and is the fifth largest party in parliament. The far-right Niki party won 3.69 per cent and 10 seats.

Plefsi Eleftherias, party of the former SYRIZA member and former president of the parliament Zoi Konstantopoulou won 3.17 per cent and eight seats.

MERA25, the party of her old colleague Yanis Varoufakis, didn’t secure any seats in the new parliament. The only electoral district where SYRIZA won was in Rodopi, on the Greek-Bulgarian border.

Turnout was 52.82 per cent compared to 60.02 per cent in the May elections, and blank/invalid votes were 1.11 per cent compared to 2.55 per cent in May.

Greek media reported that Mitsotakis will announce the ministers of his new government later on Monday. The new ministers will take their oath next Monday, July 3.

Balkan Insight

The Balkan Insight (formerly the Balkin Investigative Reporting Network, BIRN) is a close group of editors and trainers that enables journalists in the region to produce in-depth analytical and investigative journalism on complex political, economic and social themes. BIRN emerged from the Balkan programme of the Institute for War & Peace Reporting, IWPR, in 2005. The original IWPR Balkans team was mandated to localise that programme and make it sustainable, in light of changing realities in the region and the maturity of the IWPR intervention. Since then, its work in publishing, media training and public debate activities has become synonymous with quality, reliability and impartiality. A fully-independent and local network, it is now developing as an efficient and self-sustainable regional institution to enhance the capacity for journalism that pushes for public debate on European-oriented political and economic reform.

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