Macedonia University to probe election polls


University of Macedonia rector Achilleas Zapranis plans to launch a sworn administrative investigation into the opinion polls conducted by a research unit at the institution ahead of the September 20 elections.

Zapranis said during a radio interview on Thursday that he feels the university’s reputation has been compromised by doubts about the accuracy of the surveys that were carried out by its Research Institute for Skai TV and Kathimerini.

The last survey published by the researchers two days before the elections put SYRIZA in front on 31 percent, followed by New Democracy on 28.5 percent. In fact, SYRIZA won the support of 35.4 percent on September 20 and New Democracy 28.1 percent.

However, the main bone of contention was the poll’s suggestion that coalition partner Independent Greeks would get just 2 percent, short of the 3 percent threshold for entering Parliament, whereas Defense Minister Panos Kammenos’s party gained 3.7 percent.

This prompted Kammenos to attack pollsters, particularly the Macedonia University Research Institute, on election night. The nationalist leader suggested that the surveys had been manipulated to indicate that his party would not be elected to Parliament.

The university’s rectorate defended its researchers immediately after Kammenos’s comments but Zapranis said that he wants to clear up any doubts.

“All those involved will be asked to submit any evidence they have,” he said. “This goes both for those who carried out the surveys and those who made the claims.”

The rector stressed that the Research Institute has administrative and financial independence but is obliged to submit a report about its activities each year to the university senate.