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Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Greece’s ruling conservatives undergo setbacks in regional, municipal elections

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ATHENS, Greece — Greece’s ruling New Democracy celebration suffered a setback in Sunday’s runoff elections for regional governors and mayors, dropping the nation’s two largest cities and 5 of the six regional contests.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis had explicitly stated that his aim was to win all 13 areas plus the cities of Athens, Thessaloniki and Piraeus, “13 plus 3,” as he stated.

The outcomes of the primary spherical, final Sunday, appeared to consolidate New Democracy’s political dominance, already expressed within the double nationwide election, final Could and June. Its endorsed candidates received all seven areas whose end result was determined within the first spherical, in addition to Piraeus. This included two {cases}, Piraeus and the area of Crete, the place New Democracy determined to hitch itself on the bandwagon of the incumbents, whom it had opposed within the earlier native elections in 2019.

However on Sunday, voters, at the least people who bothered to end up, inflicted a actuality test on New Democracy’s triumphalism.

“It was not an particularly good night time for New Democracy,” Mitsotakis acknowledged Sunday night time. However he went on to say that this had change into obvious within the Oct. 8 first spherical, a distinction to his optimistic, if not triumphalist, statements again then.

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The end result that most likely stung probably the most was within the capital Athens, the place a socialist-backed tutorial and political neophyte, Haris Doukas, beat incumbent Kostas Bakoyannis, with practically 56% of the vote. That was an enormous upset, contemplating that Bakoyannis had scored over 41% within the first spherical, slightly in need of the 43% threshold required for an outright victory, to Doukas’ 14%. Bakoyannis is Mitsotakis’ nephew; his mom, Dora Bakoyannis, a New Democracy lawmaker and former minister, was mayor of Athens from 2003 to 2007.

Sunday’s turnout in Athens was even decrease than within the first spherical: simply 26.7% of eligible voters confirmed up, in comparison with final Sunday’s 32.3%.

Turnout across the nation was 40.7% for the 84 municipal contests and 35.1 % for the six regionals. Within the first spherical of Oct. 8, turnout in each varieties of contests had been 52.5%.

One other important end result was the area of Thessaly, the place New Democracy-backed incumbent governor, Kostas Agorastos, misplaced 40% to 60%, to Dimitris Kouretas, backed by each the socialist PASOK and left-wing Syriza events. Earlier than disastrous floods hit the area in September, Agorastos was thought-about a shoo-in for a fourth consecutive time period. Sunday’s end result was a disavowal of his, and the central authorities’s mismanagent of the emergency. Premier Mitsotakis had campaigned for Agorastos within the closing days earlier than the runoff.

Within the metropolis of Thessaloniki, socialist Stelios Angeloudis, who was not his celebration’s official candidate, due to combating amongst native celebration officers, simply defeated incumbent Konstantinos Zervas, 67% to 33%.

In addition to Thessaly, New Democracy misplaced 4 different regional contests to conservative dissidents, solely one among whom was the incumbent. The ruling celebration’s sole victory Sunday got here within the Peloponnese.

However New Democracy received the nation’s two most populous areas, Attica and Central Macedonia, within the first spherical.

New Democracy remains to be by far the most important celebration, with Syriza and PASOK far behind, battling for supremacy on the center-left and, to this point, exhibiting little willingness to band collectively to problem the conservatives.

Whereas the federal government doesn’t face nationwide elections till 2027, subsequent 12 months’s elections for the European Parliament, on June 9, would be the subsequent main take a look at of its recognition.

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