Greek parliamentary election, May 2023

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Publication Date 2023
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Information Guide focusing on the legislative election held in Greece on 21 May 2023.

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All 300 seats of the Hellenic Parliament were up for election on 21 May 2023, as announced by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis in March 2023. This election was carried out according to an electoral law passed in 2016 by a coalition government led by left-wing SYRIZA part, which stablished a purely proportional system with a 3% electoral threshold. It also removed a majority bonus which had been in place since the 1990s. Under the Greek Constitution, amendments to the electoral law come into effect starting from the second election to be held following their passage unless a supermajority backs it.

The electoral campaign was affected by the aftermath of a deadly train crash in February 2023, which also postponed the election by a month. Opposition parties raised the disaster as a symptom of a broken government and dysfunctional state. Incumbent centre-right New Democracy (ND) party focused on the positive economic outlook following a decade of hardship. Pre-electoral polls suggested a tighter-than-expected race between ND and SYRIZA, and a likely scenario of no parliamentary majority.

However, the election resulted in a clear victory for the ND (40.8%). Left-wing SYRIZA was second (20%) but suffered substantial losses, whilst the centre-left PASOK-KINAL was third (11.5%). Given that no political party was likely to form a parliamentary majority based on the election results, analysts predicted a new election would take place in the short-term. Indeed, no attempts to form a government were formally. carried out. Senior judge Ioannis Sarmas was appointed caretaker Prime Minister on 24 May, paving the way for a new election. The parliament was eventually dissolved on 29 May, less than 24 hours after it first convened. A new election was scheduled for 25 June 2023.

Related Links
Commentary and Analysis
International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES): Election Guide: Election for Greek Parliament
The Economist, 19/04/2023: Greece is a European success story. But the prime minister may not get much credit for it in the coming election
Electoral Reform Society: News & Comment, 21/04/2023: Greece changes electoral law, then changes it back
Oslo University: C-REX Right Now!, 25/04/2023: The Greek Far Right After Golden Dawn: What's Next?
Robert Schuman Foundation: European Election Monitor (EEM), 25/04/2023: New Democracy of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis is expected to come out ahead in the general elections but maybe without a majority
Foreign Policy: Analysis, 19/05/2023: An Election Won’t End Greece’s Troubles
Friedrich Naumann Foundation: Analysis, 17/05/2023: Upcoming Greek elections: What to expect?
Euro|topics, May 2023: Greek parliamentary elections: who will win?
The Spectator: Coffee House, 21/05/2023: New Democracy’s election success is a turning point for Greece
Atlantic Council: New Atlanticist Blog, 24/05/2023: Have Greek politics finally settled down?
The Irish Times: Editorials, 24/05/2023: The Irish Times view on the Greek elections: a clear winner emerges
Friedrich Naumann Foundation: Analysis, 25/05/2023: Greek national elections bring surprising results with shifting political landscape
The Economist: Leaders, 25/05/2023: A stunning election result for Greece’s prime minister
Le Monde, 30/05/2023: Greek elections: Why Kyriakos Mitsotakis and his right-wing party have succeeded

Politico, 19/01/2023: Greece to hold elections in spring, Mitsotakis says
France24, 21/03/2023: Greek prime minister announces general elections in May after rail disaster
Reuters, 28/03/2023: Greeks to vote in parliamentary elections in May as PM's popularity slides
Deutsche Welle, 28/03/2023: Greece to hold national elections on May 21
Balkan Insight, 28/03/2023: Announcing Election Date, Greek PM Sums up Turbulent Tenure
Politico, 28/03/2023: Greece to hold national election on May 21
Associated Press (AP News), 29/03/2023: Greek prime minister calls general election for May 21
El País, 29/03/2023: Greek prime minister calls general election for May 21
Associated Press (AP News), 22/04/2023: Campaign for Greek election begins with dissolved parliament
Euronews, 17/05/2023: Your guide to the Greek elections
Reuters, 19/05/2023: Greeks head to polls, no party seen winning clear majority
The Guardian, 19/05/2023: ‘Our vote counts’: Greek politicians court teenagers in tight election race
BBC News, 19/05/2023: Greek elections: Rail tragedy hangs over vote dominated by dynasties
RTÉ News, 19/05/2023: Rivals in last pitch before Greek general election
Kathimerini, 21/05/2023: Greek election results: Mitsotakis says he has decisive mandate to govern - Live blog
The Economist, 21/05/2023: Greece’s prime minister wins an election, but lacks a majority
Deutsche Welle, 21/05/2023: Greek elections: Ruling party wins over Syriza
Balkan Insight, 21/05/2023: Live Blog: Greek Parliamentary Elections 2023
France24, 21/05/2023: Greece PM eyes new polls for absolute majority after conservative win
Euronews, 21/05/2023: Greece election: Voters face new election in June as New Democracy seeks majority - Live Blog
Bloomberg, 21/05/2023: Greek Premier Mitsotakis Set for New Term, Boosting Markets
RTÉ News, 21/05/2023: Greek PM's party wins election, but short of majority
Politico, 21/05/2023: Greece’s conservatives achieve big victory but fall short of majority
The Guardian, 21/05/2023: Greek centre-right party falls short of majority in general election
Reuters, 22/05/2023: Greece's ruling Conservatives win vote but fall short of majority
Associated Press (AP News), 22/05/2023: Conservative party of Greek prime minister in big election lead, to seek outright majority
El País, 22/05/2023: Greece faces new election in weeks, after center right triumphs but falls short of majority
BBC News, 22/05/2023: Greek election: Centre-right Mitsotakis hails big win but wants majority
Politico, 22/05/2023: Mitsotakis calls for second Greek election, possibly on June 25
Reuters, 23/05/2023: Greek leftists reject mandate to form coalition, election nears
Associated Press (AP News), 24/05/2023: Greece appoints judge as caretaker PM ahead of new elections
Balkan Insight, 24/05/2023: Greece Heads Towards Second General Election
The Guardian, 24/05/2023: Senior judge to lead Greek caretaker government until fresh June election
Reuters, 24/05/2023: Greece appoints caretaker PM ahead of June repeat election

Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE): ODIHR: Elections: Early Parliamentary Elections, 21 May 2023

Wikipedia: 2023 Greek legislative election

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