Jun 16, 2012, 03.29 PM IST
Countdown to the Greece election outcome has begun. We are hours away from Greek voters casting their ballots. The last time they did that was in May, barely a month ago but that election produced a fractured mandate. Here is the tally through up, New Democracy led by Antonis Samaras emerged as the biggest party in that poll.
New Democracy garnered 19% of votes and won a total of 108 seats. This man and his party are pro-bailout.
Left coalition Syriza led by 37-year-old Alexis Tsipras came in as the second biggest party. Syriza, which says that it will renegotiate the terms of the bailout for Greece got 17% of total votes resulting in a seat tally of 52.
Third on the list pro-bailout party Pasok led by Former Greek Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos that came in third in the race. Pasok won 13% of the votes and a total of 41 seats.
And fourth on the list Right Wing anti-bailout party formed by Former New Democracy MP, Panos Kammenos that won around 10% votes in the May 6 elections, which translated into a seat tally of 33. So, those four parties hogging the top of the list.
Now apart from these parties, the Greek Communist Party and Golden Dawn, those two parties also cornered a significant share of votes but none of these political parties managed a clear majority. The fractured mandate led to the Greek President inviting the three big parties one after the other to form a national unity government but not one of the three attempts succeeded mostly because Alexis Tsipras refused.
Tsipras is a former student radical and, Head of Far Left party Syriza. He is vehemently opposed to the severe austerity measures imposed when Greece accepted the second 130 billion euro bailout from the Troika. Tsipras called the rescue plan barbaric and in agreement of poverty and wretchedness. He said, “We don’t want to leave the euro but we want to cancel the accord which denies people basic rights and is totally unfair.”
The nine day hunt for a coalition formation or a national unity government was abandoned on May 15 and the President of Greece announced a second election for the parliament. A caretaker government led by High Court Judge Panagiotis Pikramenos was sworn into manage affairs till fresh elections took place on June 17.
So, will Greece yet again deliver a split verdict? Many are seeing this second round as a referendum on Greece’s euro zone membership and are hoping the Greeks will vote to stay in. Opinion polls just after the announcement of the second election had shown Left coalition Syriza surging ahead however most of the last pre-vote opinion polls conducted at the end of May placed that the conservative New Democracy party just ahead of the radical Left Syriza.
Surveys for Greek media issue showed New Democracy share of the vote ranging from between 25.5% to 26.5%, Syriza coming in at between 23.5% to 31.5% so higher on the upper end and the polls showing Pasok coming in at 9.9% to 13.5% in third place.
Pasok is the party that introduced austerity measures when it was in government in 2009.
As for secret polls, taken closer to the elections are barred from being published. These secret polls have shown pro-bailout parties such as the New Democracy taking the lead but it is a fast changing situation accompanied by grim stories of the hardship citizens are facing due to the austerity measures.
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