Monday, January 26, 2015

Greece’s anti-austerity Syriza party officially wins parliamentary elections

Supporters of opposition leader and head of radical
leftist Syriza party Alexis Tsipras cheer at exit
poll results in Athens, January 25, 2015.

(Reuters/Marko Djurica)
RT | Jan 25, 2015

Greece’s radical leftist party, Syriza, has won the country’s parliamentary electiona, claiming 35.11 percent of the vote, and leaving the ruling New Democracy party in second place with 29.22 percent, according to the first official results.

The exit-polls earlier revealed that Syriza, has won between 35.5 and 39.5 percent of the vote in the national parliamentary election, leaving the New Democracy party more than 10 per cent behind.

The New Democracy party, led by Greek Prime Minister, Antonis Samaras, has received between 23 and 27 percent of the vote.

The first official results have been announced at approximately 1920 GMT, with the outcome of the vote to be finalized on Monday morning.


Centrist party To Potami (The River) and the far-right Golden Dawn party are in tight competition for third place, with both attaining 6.4 to 8 percent of the vote, according to a joint poll by Metron Analysis, GPO, Alco, MRB, Marc. 

Syriza (Coalition of the Radical Left), which is headed by 40-year-old Alexis Tsipras, rose to popularity after it promised to renegotiate Greek debt and put an end to austerity in the country.

In Greece, a political party requires between 36 and 40 percent of the vote in order to secure an outright win, with the exact figure depending on the share of the vote taken by parties that failed to pass the 3 percent threshold required to enter parliament.

According to the exit polls, seven parties are on the way to making it into the new Hellenic Parliament, which is comprised of 300 MPs.

The election was held earlier than scheduled because of the failure of the parliament to elect a new Greek president on December 29 last year.

The presidential candidate presented by the government, Stavros Dimas, had failed to secure the required majority votes from MPs across three rounds of voting.

This means that Syriza will occupy between146 and158 seats in the Greek parliament, while New Democracy will likely have to settle for between 65 and 75 seats.

One hundred and fifty one seats are required for a party to form a government on its own.

“It is a historic victory, we still have to see if it will be a big historic victory. It sends a message against austerity and in favor of dignity and democracy,” Panos Skourletis, Syriza spokesman, told Greek Mega TV.

A senior New Democracy party member, health minister Makis Voridis, has conceded defeat to Syriza in the elections.

“We lost. The extent of that result is not yet clear,” Voridis told Mega TV.

If the results of the exit polls are officially confirmed, Syriza will become the first ruling anti-austerity party in Europe.

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