Lists, party programs take center stage

Political leaders also focusing on exploratory mandates to form a government after May 21

Lists, party programs take center stage

Program announcements, candidate lists and the exploratory mandates, which will commence on the evening of the May 21 elections, will be the focus in the coming days of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and the leaders of opposition SYRIZA and PASOK, Alexis Tsipras and Nikos Androulakis.   

The political leaders have chosen to personally handle the drafting of the candidate lists, with the main objective, especially for ND and SYRIZA, being to signal the broadening of their political appeal, as well as to spring some surprises that will turn the spotlight on their parties.

In any case, filling the lists takes on a different dimension after the recent revelations regarding some of the 2019 European Parliament candidates. As for the program with which they will fight the election, Mitsotakis and Tsipras appear to focus on different areas.    

At the core of the program to be presented by Mitsotakis’ ruling New Democracy is expected to be the roadmap for a 25% wage increase in the public and private sectors over the next four years. 

For its part, SYRIZA is banking, among other things, on its 50-day program, which is expected to include immediate income support to compensate households from ongoing inflationary pressures, as well as interventions in prices and moves to protect primary residences.      

At the same time, however, political leaders are beginning to formulate their strategy for the day after the ballot, which is linked to the launch of the exploratory mandates for the formation of a government, as the system of simple proportional representation rules out the scenario of single-party governments.

This is an extremely difficult and complex exercise, as the moves by Mitsotakis, Tsipras and Androulakis will shape the climate in which the country is expected to head into the next contest on July 2 with the new electoral law. 

The bar for the formation of a coalition government from the first election will depend not only on the percentages and clout of the parties in Parliament, but also on the sum of those who will be left out. 

With a ratio of 8% for the parties outside Parliament, about 46% is needed to form a coalition government, while for every one point increase in the percentage of parties left outside the House the bar for forming a 151-seat majority drops by 0.5%.

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