Greece’s General Election: Everything You Need to Know
Greece is gearing up for its general election on May 21st. There are 300 seats in the Greek parliament and political parties, alliances, and independent candidates can participate in the election.
Voters will be able to choose not only between the parties on the ballot papers but also among the parliamentary candidates on the list of their preferred party. The number of deputies a party will get from a certain region will depend on the total votes it receives from the region. Then the party’s parliamentary candidates in that region will be ranked according to the number of votes they received. The priority of being a deputy will be determined by the amount of votes received.
The election system’s “bonus” deputy application, in which 50 bonus deputies were given to the first party in previous general elections to avoid coalition governments and a strong power, was abolished. If no party can reach the required number of seats (151), the President will assign the leader of the party that receives the most votes to form the government. If this fails, the leaders of the second and third parties with the most votes will be given three days each to form a government. If the government cannot be formed at this stage, all political party leaders will be brought together by the President, and if the process is still unsuccessful, voters will go to the polls again with a temporary government to be established with the participation of all parties.
If the elections are “repeated,” the “bonus” deputyship will be applied, and 20 bonus deputies will be given to the first party if the vote rate is 25 percent or more. For every 0.5 percent increase above 25 percent, one more parliamentary seat is envisaged. The first party will be able to receive a maximum of 50 bonus MPs within this framework.
The election threshold is 3 percent for all parties and candidates to enter parliament. This applies not only to parties and alliances but also to all independent candidates, practically preventing independent candidates from entering parliament.
Those allowed to participate in the general elections are 27 political parties, 8 alliances, and 1 independent candidate. In the surveys conducted by research companies, the ruling New Democracy appears first, followed by the main opposition Radical Left Alliance (SYRIZA), with the third most supported party being PASOK.
As the election draws near, the people of Greece wait for the results and hope for a stable government capable of addressing the country’s challenges.