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Conservative-led coalition put to test as Greeks vote in local elections

Leader of leftist opposition SYRIZA, Alexis Tsipras, leaves a polling booth prior to cast his vote in a polling station in Athens.

Greeks flocked to the polls on Sunday as the country held the first round of local elections widely seen as a test for the conservative-led government coalition.

“We are exiting the crisis in a democratic and united fashion,” Prime Minister Antonis Samaras said after casting his vote in Pylos, in the southern Peloponnese.

His leftist challenger, SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras, heralded the Sunday vote as “a first step for the cities and regions of the country to change hands.”

“It is an important step for Greece to turn the page,” Tsipras said from a polling station in Ampelokipi, central Athens.

Nearly 10 million Greeks were eligible to vote on Sunday for mayors and town councils at 325 municipalities as well as prefects for 13 regions across the country, with a run-off vote to be held on May 25.

Exit polls will be broadcast at 7 p.m. while preliminary results are expected to be released after 10 p.m.

ekathimerini.com , Sunday May 18, 2014 (18:32)  
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