Center-left ballot in doubt due to technical barrier


The process to elect a center-left leader is in danger of being thrown into disarray due to difficulties in finding a company to organize the ballot.

It had been expected that mobile phone firm Vodafone would take on the task of connecting the various polling centers to avoid voting irregularities, but the company said it would not be able to get everything ready by November 5, when the first vote is due to take place. The firm also asked for 1 million euros for the project, with 80 percent of that having to be paid in advance.

Voters are expected to have to pay between 2 and 4 euros to cast their ballot but it is not expected that more than 200,000 people will take part, meaning that Vodafone’s charges would not be covered.

Nikos Alivizatos, the constitutional expert who heads the committee overseeing the leadership election, alerted the 10 candidates that have declared they will stand in the ballot about the complications. He is expecting to receive another quotation Friday from another mobile telephone firm, Wind, but it is not expected to be substantially different to Vodafone’s offer.

There are now serious doubts about whether the ballot, whose purpose is to elect a figure who will unite Greece’s center-left parties, including PASOK and To Potami, will be held on November 5.