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Greek PM Mitsotakis says he has won decisive mandate to govern

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis claimed victory in a parliamentary election on Sunday, saying he had a mandate to form a strong autonomous government. His party indeed managed to score an impressive victory, but the support does not necessarily translate into a majority that will allow it to rule independently.

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Early official results indicated on Sunday that Mitsotakis’ conservative New Democracy party was set for a big win in Greece’s election, but was short of the majority needed to form a one-party government.

“The ballot results are decisive. They show that New Democracy has the approval of the people to rule, strong and autonomous,” said Mitsotakis nevertheless.

With 92.61% of the votes counted (as of 11:28 p.m. local time, 2028 GMT), conservative New Democracy took a commanding lead of 40.8%, trouncing the radical leftist Syriza, which governed from 2015 to 2019, trailing with 20.07%.

Analysts said New Democracy was likely to be short of a clear majority.

A newly introduced electoral system distributes seats based on how many parties get into the 300-member parliament, raising or lowering the bar for a majority accordingly to anything between 42% and 47% of the vote.

Projections indicate that New Democracy could win 145 seats in parliament, six short of an absolute majority.

The result was however a boost to incumbent Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, whose administration had to contend with a wiretapping scandal, the Covid pandemic, a cost of living crisis, and a deadly rail crash in February that triggered public outrage.

“It’s a clear margin, a clear win,” said Panos Koliastasis, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Politics at the University of Peloponnese.

New Democracy’s main competitor, former PM Alexis Tsipras’s Syriza’s 20.07% would translate into 72 seats.

Other parties to secure parliamentary representation are the socialist PASOK with 11.57% (41 seats), communist KKE with 7.19% (26 seats), and right-wing Elliniki Lysi (Hellenic Solution) with 4.46% (16 seats).

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