Greeks go to the polls on Sunday for a second round of local and regional authority elections for seven regions and 217 municipalities, with conservative New Democracy hoping to build on its significant victory in European Parliament polls a week ago ahead of a snap general election next month.
Once again polling stations across the country are to open at 7 a.m. and close and 7 p.m., with the first predictions based on official results expected at around 9 p.m.
The most closely watched races will be for Athens mayor, where ND-backed Costas Bakoyannis is up against leftist SYRIZA’s Nasos Iliopoulos, and Attica regional governor, where leftist incumbent Rena Dourou is being challenged by ND’s Giorgos Patoulis.
Other key races include that for Greece’s main port of Piraeus, where incumbent Yiannis Moralis will go up against ND-backed Nikos Vlachakos, and for the northern port of Thessaloniki, where ND’s Nikos Tachiaos is competing against Constantinos Zervas.
Speaking during a trip to Corinth in the Peloponnese, where ND aims to expand its influence, conservative leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis described Sunday’s local and regional authority runoffs as “the second big step for political change,” adding that “the definitive and final one will happen on July 7.”
The leftist government, for its part, is hoping to recoup some of the losses it suffered in the European election, which saw it lose to ND by more than 9 percentage points.
It is believed to have lined up a series of legislative amendments to push through Parliament next week, including public sector appointments. The amendments will likely be tacked on to bills foreseeing changes to town planning or legislation overhauling the Greek penal code.