NEWS

Small parties feeling the squeeze

STAVROS PAPANTONIOU

TAGS: Elections, Politics

With Sunday’s election just days away, ruling SYRIZA and opposition New Democracy have embarked on a strategy to ensure that the country’s smaller parties come up short and do not deny them crucial votes.

It is seen as imperative to the governing leftists’electoral aspirations  that no votes are lost to Yanis Varoufakis’ MeRA25. Likewise, the conservatives do not want to leak votes to far-right Greek Solution. Moreover, neither wants to lose votes to neo-Nazi Golden Dawn, which recent polls have suggested is already on the slide.

ND, which polls suggest could win outright and form a majority government, has seen as positive the absorption of some 4.18 percent of voters from Greek Solution during the European Parliament elections in May. Those voters, party officials believe, could be enough to help ND form a majority government on Sunday.

No time was wasted by conservatives in highlighting the ludicrous behavior of Greek Solution’s leader Kyriakos Velopoulos, who preys on the religious sentiments of right-wing voters by peddling letters he claims were written by Jesus Christ himself.

Furthermore, New Democracy has focused its campaigning in the north of the country, where polls suggest Greek Solution enjoys greater popularity.

In the same vein, SYRIZA has sought to deconstruct the leftist narrative represented by Varoufakis and his MeRA25 party, with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras at the forefront of this crusade against his former finance chief. Tsipras has recently admitted that appointing Varoufakis to head the Finance Ministry was a mistake that damaged the economy.

Meanwhile, three new polls by Alco, Metron Analysis and Prorata on Wednesday showed ND winning by an outright majority with respective leads over SYRIZA ranging from 7.4 to 13 percent. According to these polls, ND would win between 155 and 165 lawmakers in the 300-seat House.

In a wide-ranging interview with Alpha TV on Wednesday, ND leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis highlighted the importance of forming a majority government, saying that “if it is not possible to form a government, the country will be directly led to [another] election.”

He added that a rerun would be inevitable as “none of the smaller parties has requested cooperation.”

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