Athens, May 22 (IANS) Greek conservativeshave received a clear mandate from the people of the country to continue efforts to change the country with a strong government, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said after his New Democracy (ND) party won the general elections by a huge margin.
ND garnered 40.79 per cent of the votes, securing 145 seats in the next 300-member Parliament, according to 96.03 per cent of the votes counted, official results released by the Interior Ministry revealed.
The main opposition party, SYRIZA-Progressive Alliance, gained 20.05 per cent of votes with 72 seats, while another three parties that passed the 3 per cent threshold will also enter the new Parliament, Xinhua news agency quoted the Interior Ministry as saying.
“The results of the ballot are clear. They show that New Democracy has the approval of citizens to rule autonomous and strong,” Mitsotakis told media at the party’s headquarters, shortly after receiving a congratulatory call from SYRIZA-Progressive Alliance’s leader Alexis Tsipras.
The third biggest party in Sunday’s elections was the socialist PASOK-KINAL (Panhellenic Socialist Movement-Movement for Change) which received 11.52 per cent of the votes with 41 seats, the results showed.
The other two parties to enter the parliament are the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) with 7.21 per cent of the votes and 26 seats, and the right-wing Elliniki Lysi (Greek Solution) with 4.45 per cent of the votes and 16 seats.
Voter turnout stood at 60.26 percent.
Without achieving an absolute majority, ND will have to seek for a coalition to form a government, an option he already declined during the pre-election campaign.
And Mitsotakis had implied that ND will seek an absolute majority in the follow-up elections.
The final results are expected to be announced on Monday.
After that, President Katerina Sakellaropoulou will give a mandate to the leader of the biggest party to form a new government.
Under the constitution, leaders of the top three parties have three days each to form a coalition.
If all efforts fail, a caretaker government will lead Greece to a second ballot by early July.
The runoff vote could be held on June 25, local media reported.
In the second ballot, a revised electoral system which provides a bonus of up to 50 extra seats for the winning party, will be used, facilitating the formation of a single-party government.
Political analysts say, under this system, the frontrunner could win a majority in parliament with about 38 per cent of the votes.
In the 2019 general elections, ND had won 39.8 per cent of the vote with 158 seats in Parliament, and SYRIZA 31.5 per cent of the votes with 86 seats.