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Politics

Mitsotakis Says Complacency Could Undo Single-Party Rule Hopes

IRAKLIO – New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis said he’s anxious that his bid to come back to ruling outright in the June 25 second round of elections could be undone if voters assuming he’ll win stay away from the polls.

Read also: Kyriakos Mitsotakis Appeals to Greek Citizens for a Strong Mandate Supporting Bold Reforms

His then-ruling party beat the major opposition SYRIZA by more than 20 points in the May 21 first round but fell six seats short of a parliamentary majority because the former ruling Leftists had removed a 50-seat bonus for a winning party in a bid to force coalitions.

A New Democracy amendment provides a sliding scale up to 50 seats in a second round depending in the percentage of the vote and Mitsotakis said he doesn’t want to fall short, which would mean trying to find a partner or go to a third ballot.

While May turned out to be a series of gray day washouts in unseasonably cloudy and rainy weather, if June 25 turns out to be a hot beach day that could also hold down the turnout, and many Greeks who vote in their home villages or islands would have to make a second trek unless abstaining.

Campaigning on Crete, Mitsotakis also warned that while five parties won enough votes in the first round to enter Parliament that if another – or more – siphon off votes then it could lessen chances of a single-party outcome.

He told a public gathering that he “will not settle for the same election percentage” as in the first round. “I want us to do and we can do even better than the result we achieved in the May 21 elections,” he said.

All the focus was on the margin of victory although despite the thumping of SYRIZA it was the Leftists bleeding votes, not the Conservatives gaining them, that turned the tide. New Democracy got only 0.74 percent more than it did in winning the July, 2019 snap polls big.

“We have before us a strange situation, where a greater number of political parties may enter the Parliament … This means that the bar for an absolute majority is higher. It means we must get an even higher percentage in order to be certain of a strong government. We can get this percentage I have no doubt. But for this to happen we cannot put up with any complacency,” he said.

“The opponent of the party is complacency while its ally is the momentum of the party and its officials, who will rush in these last weeks to give us a big victory in the upcoming elections,” he also added.

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