Greece's New Democracy Party Seeks Absolute Majority in June Elections

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Greece's Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has announced his intention to hold a new vote on June 25 in an effort to secure an absolute majority. This comes after his conservative New Democracy party emerged victorious in national elections, although falling five seats short of a single-party government. Mitsotakis' party secured a significant lead of 20 points over its closest rival, leftist Alexis Tsipras' Syriza party. The election result is being hailed as a "political earthquake," with New Democracy's success attributed to restoring economic stability to Greece, once considered a laggard in the European Union.

Despite the triumph, Mitsotakis now faces the decision of forming a coalition or calling for new elections. He has declined power-sharing and expressed the need for new elections as soon as possible. The constitutional process will continue, with the president granting mandates to Syriza and the socialist party Pasok-Kinal. However, given Sunday's results, these attempts are expected to be unsuccessful, leading to the appointment of an interim prime minister who will eventually call for new elections.

Under Mitsotakis' leadership, Greece experienced an economic revival, with growth projected at twice the European Union average this year. Unemployment and inflation have decreased, and the country's vital tourism industry has been managed through the challenges posed by the pandemic. Despite setbacks such as a wiretapping scandal and a devastating train crash, support for the conservative party remained strong. The upcoming elections will see the implementation of a new electoral law that grants a bonus of up to 50 seats to the winner, which further strengthens New Democracy's position.

While the left will likely focus on cost-of-living issues in their campaign, the fragmented nature of the center-left vote poses challenges for both Syriza and Pasok-Kinal. Former Prime Minister Tsipras is expected to face pressure to recalibrate his approach ahead of the next polls. Meanwhile, Yanis Varoufakis, the former finance minister and leader of the anti-austerity MeRA25 party, failed to secure enough votes to enter parliament. The upcoming elections will be crucial in determining Greece's political landscape and the path forward for the country's governance.

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