ATHENS – With the moment he’s been waiting almost four years on the horizon, Greece’s major opposition SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras said he will oust the ruling New Democracy and form a coalition government.
“This adventure is coming to an end. Just a few more weeks of patience,” he confidently predicted although a change in electoral law passed in the waning days of his rule in 2019 makes a second round likely.
That amendment removed a 50-seat bonus in the 300-member Parliament for whomever wins a first round of elections, making it unlikely in the country’s fractured political landscape with so many parties getting votes that anyone could win outright.
Unless that happens or a coalition is formed after the first round on May 21 a second round would be needed sometime in early July, with an interim government due to be in place once Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis dissolves Parliament.
Speaking on a tour of a market in the Viotian town of Livadia, the SYRIZA leader said “a progressive coalition government will take on the difficult task of rebooting the country, of restoring the economy and supporting society,” reported the state-run Athens-Macedonia News Agency AMNA.
There would be no “second round of elections and other adventures,” he said even though it was his government that created the political predicament of multiple elections in 2019.
With Mitsotakis still dealing with the remnants of a surveillance scandal and rage over the deaths of 57 people in a head-on train collision and discovery the railroads weren’t safe, his lead has fallen to only 2.9 percent in polls.
Tsipras also said that most Greeks are struggling with high prices brought by inflation and what he said was “rampant profiteering,” and said that “the government appears to continue to be in its own world.”
A third party, the surging PASOK-KINALcould be the ticket for Tsipras and SYRIZA although the center left party leader, Member of the European Parliament Nikos Androulakis said he won’t work with New Democracy or SYRIZA if it would make Mitsotakis or Tsipras the Prime Minister.
“Greek men and women are voting for a new hope in the in the May 21 elections. For a new perspective,” said Androulakis, saying that Mitsotakis, after spending “desperately searching for a lifeline for personal survival, today he announced the end of his failed administration.”