Greece, Turkey to go to the polls in sync

Greece, Turkey to go to the polls in sync

Elections in Greece and Turkey will take place at about the same time and, according to the most likely scenario, a second parliamentary election in Greece will take place on May 14, the same day Turkey will elect both its president and lawmakers.

This means that the first election in Greece must take place by April 9, at the latest. Alternately, the two Greek elections could take place on May 14 and June 22, respectively. This combination of dates appears less likely, however, as the second election date would coincide with countrywide university entrance exams.

That Greece is almost certain to hold two parliamentary elections is due to the fact that each will be contested under a different election law: the first will be held under an almost pure proportional representation system, according to a law voted by the previous leftist government. This will guarantee that no single party will hold an overall majority in Parliament and, with a coalition government seen almost impossible, Parliament will be dissolved and a new election held under a law voted by the present conservative government, which gives the winner a 30-seat bonus. A caretaker government will oversee the second election.

Greek officials had expressed wariness over whether Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has ratcheted up his aggressive rhetoric toward Greece on the campaign trail, might foment an incident during the time between the two elections.

Germany, and the United States, have already intervened, or plan to do so, to make sure such an escalation will not occur: German Chancellor Olaf Scholz set up a meeting in December between the diplomatic advisor to Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Anna Maria Boura, Erdogan’s closest adviser, Ibrahim Kalin, and his own foreign and security policy aide, Jens Plotner. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, for his part, will visit both Ankara and Athens in February.

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