Election system cripples many local governments


Many Greek municipalities have been paralyzed since the last elections were held using the simple proportional representation system legislated by the previous SYRIZA administration.

The process eliminated the vote percentage threshold for entering municipal councils. As a result, decision making in local governments – where the political culture of accommodation and compromise is notoriously absent – is often held ransom to scant minorities. Οne in three mayors is only supported by a minority of municipal councilors.

Kavala Mayor Theodoros Mouriadis won 63 percent in the runoff vote but his party is represented by just nine of 41 councilors. A former supporter of simple proportional representation, he changed his mind after the opposition voted down a €4 million European program.

“Everyone wants to be elected, not in order to do something, but to prevent someone else from doing something,” he said.