As campaigning heats up for next week’s snap election, opposition New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis underlined the risk of repeat polls in August that could lead to long-drawn-out political upheaval if the conservative party does not secure a “strong mandate.”
Despite ND’s resounding victory in the European Parliament election last month, “the match starts all over again” on July 7, Mitsotakis told Thema radio station.
“The outcome is not a done deal, New Democracy’s victory cannot be taken for granted,” the ND chief said, encouraging voters to turn out and help the party get adequate support to form a government independently.
He said he didn’t think abstentions would be high, responding to widespread concerns that the election’s timing in the middle of the summer holiday period may lead to a poor turnout.
However, if a majority government does not emerge from the July 7 elections, “the country will be led back to the polls in August, and it will be with a system of simple proportional representation,” Mitsotakis said, referring to changes to the Constitution passed through Parliament recently.
As the outcome under such a system would probably require the first two parties to cooperate, the ND leader said it was not viable. “We cannot relate to SYRIZA or Mr Tsipras,” Mitsotakis said, referring to the leftist prime minister.
The center-right leader also urged voters not to support neo-Nazi Golden Dawn and populist, pro-Russian Greek Solution. “We need to leave them out of Parliament,” he said. “Their presence in Parliament would be an affront, albeit for different reasons.”