Friday, July 19, 2024

Greek conservatives win regional elections

Greek conservatives of the ruling New Democracy (ND) party won seven out of 13 regions in the first round of the regional elections, according to the preliminary results released by the Interior Ministry on Monday with about 40 per cent of ballots counted.

The regional elections came as a political test for the government of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis who won a second term in office in this summer’s general elections, reports Xinhua news agency.

“We are here to work with each governor and mayor. After all, this is what we did in the previous four years because problems have no (political) color,” the premier said on Sunday night after the announcement of the results, sending a message of cooperation.

Candidates for regional governors, as well as mayors in the 332 municipalities nationwide, needed to secure 43 per cent of votes to win the seat outright, otherwise the 1st and 2nd runners will contest in a runoff on October 15.

In the region of Attica, where the capital Athens is located and is the most populous region, ND candidate Nikos Hardalias won the election with 46.53 per cent of votes after 50.37 per cent of votes were counted.

“All together we will fight in the next five years and together, undoubtedly, we will make it,” he said.

Athens’ incumbent Mayor Kostas Bakoyannis gained 41.27 per cent of votes with 44.49 per cent of votes counted, and thus will face a candidate backed by the socialist PASOK-KINAL party in the second round.

In Piraeus, the incumbent mayor Yiannis Moralis achieved a clear victory with 69.8 per cent of votes.

A clear picture of the results of municipal elections is expected later on Monday.

The local administration officials are elected for a five-year term.

Some 9.7 million Greek citizens aged above 17 were registered to vote on Sunday.

In addition, 17,957 citizens of 26 EU member states, who are living in Greece and have registered for the elections, could also cast their ballot, according to the Interior Ministry.

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