Greece Elections 2023 - Old woman says "I hope this is the last time I vote"

Old woman

An old woman in Serres, after voting, said that she has been voting for many years now and expressed her hope that this would be the last time she votes.

The ERT journalist told her "no, why should she be the last, if possible" and wished her well in the next elections as well.

Polling stations opened at 7:00 a.m. local time (0400 UTC/GMT) Sunday for Greece's general elections.

While dozens of parties will be contesting the election, the vote primarily pits current Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and his center-right New Democracy party (ND) against the left-wing Syriza party's Alexis Tsipras — who himself is a former prime minister.

Changes to the country's electoral system mean the vote is unlikely to produce an outright winner and a second vote is likely.

"The party ranking first needs over 45% of the electorate in order to create a single party administration, something which it seems is quite unlikely," political analyst Panos Koliastasis told Reuters news agency.

The winner will have three days to negotiate a coalition, making a second round likely on July 2. A total of 32 parties are vying for votes, though opinion polls have indicated only six have a realistic chance of meeting the 3% threshold to gain seats in the 300-member parliament.

Recent opinion polls put Mitsotakis' ND party in the lead, however, February's rail disaster which killed 57 people has seen him lose his double-digit lead.

He has also been embroiled in a wiretapping scandal, which saw the secret service phone tapping Nikos Androulakis, leader of the socialist opposition PASOK party.

Mitsotakis has been quick to point out his government's achievements in recent years, including cutting taxes on businesses and also individuals.

Leading the opposition is 48-year-old Alexis Tsipras, a former prime minister and the current firebrand leader of the left-wing Syriza party whose campaign has focused heavily on the rail disaster and wiretapping scandal.

Greece has been hard-hit by a cost of living crisis which has been a central theme in political campaigns leading up to the vote, as parties try to attract voters with promises of job creation and better wages.

More than 9.8 million Greeks are eligible to vote in Sunday's general election for 300 lawmakers in the unicameral parliament who serve a four-year term.

The voting age has been lowered to 17 for the first time, while Greek citizens living abroad are also allowed to vote in the country in which they reside.

Polls at 22,000 voting precincts will close at 19:00 local time and the Interior Ministry estimates that 80% of the vote will be counted by 1900 UTC.

READ MORE: Alexis Tsipras: The Right will become a minority in all of Greece as of Sunday.

Copyright Greekcitytimes 2024