Greek PM eyes new poll on June 25 after failing to win majority

Greek national election

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, whose party won Sunday's election albeit short of a majority, said on Monday he would not form a coalition government and hoped for a new election on June 25.

With 99.70% of the votes counted, Mitsotakis’ New Democracy party won 40.79% — twice the leftwing main opposition Syriza’s 20.07% — dominating 58 of the country’s 59 constituencies. Socialist Pasok came in third at 11.46%, while turnout was 61%.

President Katerina Sakellaropoulou on Monday formally offered Mitsotakis the mandate to try and form a coalition government. But during a brief televised conversation, he told her he would return it within hours as there seemed no prospect of success. Mitsotakis voiced hope a new election could come as early as June 25.

ND’s margin of victory far outstripped pollsters’ forecasts and was the biggest since 1974, when Greece’s first democratic elections were held after the fall of the seven-year military dictatorship.

The 55-year-old prime minister told President Sakellaropoulou Monday that he could see “effectively no way for the current parliament to form a government,” overcoming the “obstacle” of the electoral system.

”That is why I will return the mandate to you this afternoon, so that we can head for new elections” if other parties fail to form a coalition deal, “as soon as possible, perhaps even on June 25,” Mitsotakis said. “The country needs a strong and stable government with a four-year mandate and as soon as this is settled the better.”