Legislative Elections in Greece: Soon the End for Alexis Tsipras?

General News
Greece Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras at a campaign rally in Athens on 5 July 2019

Greece is back to the polls this Sunday 7th July 2019 to elect their new Prime Minister. Who will be elected between Alexis Tsipras, and the favourite, Kyriakos Mitsotakis?

In stifling temperatures, Greece will vote on Sunday for early parliamentary elections at risk for Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, which according to all forecasts should stumble after a record of longevity in times of crisis.

Emerging in a chaotic Greece, overwhelmed by the debt crisis and austerity imposed by its creditors, the young radical left leader had created hope in January 2015, a people stunned by bankruptcies and social plans in series.

But after four years of governance of the youngest Greek Prime Minister in 150 years, voters do not forgive him, according to analysts, his broken promises and drastic tax punctures dictated by the EU to dismiss the “Grexit”.

The favourite conservative party?

After having re-elected in September 2015, the Greeks will this time choose alternation, predict unanimously polls that give a victory without appeal to the conservative New Democracy (ND) led by Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

Polling stations opened at 7am local time (4am GMT). In total, 9,903,864 people are registered on the electoral roll, which can vote until 7pm (4pm GMT).

According to the latest opinion polls, the right-wing formation should get 151 to 165 seats out of 300 in the Vouli, the Greek parliament. Syriza would then be returned to the ranks of the opposition, with 70 to 82 seats.

Stunned by a scathing failure in the European and local elections in late May and early June, Alexis Tsipras, whose term ended theoretically in October, attempted a risky gamble by calling himself these early elections early in the year. summer, hoping to reverse the wave of discontent.

The lost bet?

But if polls say true, Mr Tsipras, accustomed to put his majority at stake, may well lose his bet this time.

On his election posters, the Prime Minister, his arm raised, in shirt sleeves, seems to say a last goodbye, proclaiming: “Now, let’s decide our lives.”

In a last-ditch seduction operation on Friday night, Tsipras waved the risk of returning “to the dark hours of austerity”.

Three years after taking the reins of the conservative party, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, perceived as a reformer, close to the business community, promised to “revive the economy” and “leave the crisis behind us”.

The election of this son of a former prime minister, descended from a great political dynasty, would sign the return of “family democracy” to the Greek government, a tradition that Alexis Tsipras interrupted when he came to power at the age of 40. years.

But for Christos Maravlis, still undecided, “the vote for the New Democracy is more a vote to punish Syriza for having betrayed the Greek people”.

“Tsipras promised too much and failed to fulfil his promises,” said Ifigenia Dimitriadou, who will vote for ND.

Kyriakos Mitsotakis, candidate of the conservative New Democracy party, at a rally in Athens on 4 July 2019.
Kyriakos Mitsotakis, candidate of the conservative New Democracy party, at a rally in Athens on 4 July 2019. (© AFP / Louisa GOULIAMAKI)

For these first general elections convened in early summer, while the Greeks have already gone on vacation or cooling off on the beaches, Alexis Tsipras also broke the recall:

“Sunday, go vote and take with you a friend, an indecisive.”

The Greeks will have voted three times in a month and a half, after the European and local elections. The participation, already half-masted for the municipal elections in June, will be decisive Sunday.

If the gap is tight in a context of strong bi-polarization, ND will have to build a coalition to govern, probably with the Movement for Change KINAL, born on the ashes of the Socialist Party PASOK, the replica of the alliance that had led Greece in deadlock before the arrival of Syriza.

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