Kidnappers can’t budge vote-puller

In the small southern Cretan village of Antiskari, every potential vote counts ahead of next month’s municipal elections. Working on that principle, ardent backers of the current mayor abducted a highly popular local woman in a vain attempt to get her off a political rival’s ticket. According to a report in yesterday’s Ta Nea daily, Kalliopi Tsavolaki, the village priest’s wife, was officially registered on the ticket of Panayiotis Sfakianakis, a contender for the mayoralty of Moires, the municipality to which Antiskari belongs. The highly thought-of mother of three was believed to be good for 50 votes, which worried supporters of the incumbent, Giorgos Armoutakis, who won the 1998 poll with 3,978 votes – 429 more than his main opponent. Ta Nea said Tsavolaki was abducted on Sunday night by fellow-villagers who took her to an Iraklion hotel and urged her to stand down. When she refused, they allegedly forged her signature on a document they took to the local elections board, which refused to accept it. Tsavolaki was eventually set free. According to Ta Nea, no formal complaints have been filed yet.