Next year’s local elections will take place in May instead of October, to coincide with the European elections, after Interior Minister Panos Skourletis accepted an amendment submitted by 16 SYRIZA MPs to the so-called Kleisthenis 1 bill, aimed at overhauling the governance of local authorities.
The decision has given rise to speculation that the government may also opt to hold snap general elections on the same day.
According to analysts and critics, one of the reasons why the government could opt for three elections on the same day is its declining popularity in the opinion polls. The reasoning is that SYRIZA would have an easier time managing losses in all three elections on the same day, rather than on three separate occasions.
The lawmakers had initially submitted an amendment on Tuesday night aimed at having the first round of local elections a week before the Euro-elections. That way, the vote for MEPs would have coincided with the second round of local polls.
However, they submitted a second amendment on Wednesday that foresees the first round – instead of the second – of local elections coinciding with the European elections.
Senior party officials are banking on the fact that the SYRIZA party’s mobilization ahead of elections is always greater before the first round.
SYRIZA hopes that the mobilization will also help its MEP candidates win votes.
Moreover, SYRIZA is reportedly prepared to back PASOK-linked officials running for the offices of mayor and regional governor, hoping that their voters will support the leftist party in the local and European polls.