Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis repeated during a cabinet meeting on Monday that elections will take place at the end of the government’s four-year term, in 2023.
This declaration is usually expected from the head of government; no prime minister has ever telegraphed an early election. But it was obvious that Mitsotakis’ declaration was not aimed at the public, or the opposition, but his own ministers.
“The best way to stop the discussion about [early] elections is to work and promote the government’s work… we still have a long time to go until the election and there’s no reason for anyone to be thinking in electoral campaign terms,” Mitsotakis added.
Kathimerini understands that, lately, the prime minister has repeatedly found out that his ministers had already been behaving as if they were in a pre-election period, dealing as much if not more with their constituencies than with their ministerial duties. Even a cursory glance at their social media profiles shows that the ministers are in pre-election mode, something that bothers the prime minister as it sends the message that the ministers are not doing their work.
This was the reason why Mitsotakis considered it appropriate to put the brakes on this logic by immediately sending the message to his ministers that the elections are not close.
Mitsotakis also noted that “given that the economy is doing well and the outlook for 2022 is even better, we have absolutely no reason to be talking about elections in 2022.”
There has been speculation ever since the last election, in 2019, that Mitsotakis would hold early elections because they will be held under proportional representation and would result in a hung parliament. His party has since introduced an electoral law restoring the bonus given to the winning party, but this can be adopted only for the election after next, since it did not meet the required two-thirds threshold required for immediate implementation.