NEWS

More than 200,000 candidates seek votes in tomorrow’s ballot

About 2 percent of the Greek population is directly involved in tomorrow’s elections. More than 200,000 men and women are seeking election to local, municipal, and prefectural councils, or as mayors or prefects. Of course, 2 percent is the average, because there are some communities where candidates number anywhere from 20 to 60 percent of the residents. In the community of Grammou, Kastoria, for example, 60.71 percent are candidates. The community has 28 residents, and two groups have fielded 17 candidates between them. On Antikythera one in five residents is running for election, while in the community of Mesolouria, Grevena, 29 of the 139 residents are running for election. The registered number of voters is 9,932,865 (up from 8,912,315 at the previous local elections), of whom 4,765,986 are men and 5,166,879 are women. The electoral rolls contain about 75,000 names of people who are enrolled at more than one station, a matter which will be settled immediately after the elections. There are 576,000 people voting for the first time in local elections because they have reached 18 years of age, and 425,166 are voting for the first time in any election. The voters include 3,500 citizens of European Union countries, mainly from Britain (1,335). There are 3,115 groups fielding candidates, of which 2,979 are headed by men. Only 139 women are running for election as mayor (4.43 percent). Of the 200,000 candidates, only 47,821 will be elected. Of those, three will become presidents of combined prefectures, 47 will be prefects, seven prefects of prefectural departments, 1,450 prefect council members, 901 mayors, about 16,700 municipal council members, 22,446 local council members, 130 presidents of communities, 830 community council members, and 89 community auditors. There are 136,066 candidates for first-level local government. Female candidates for councils number 46,420 (34.12 percent), just meeting the requirements of the law, which stipulates that 33 percent of candidates must be women.