With the most votes counted, the conservative New Democracy Party came out on top with 40.8%, ahead of the leftist opposition party Syriza, which ruled from 2015 to 2019, with 20.1%.
The Greek Interior Ministry predicted that the New Democracy party would win 145 out of 300 seats in parliament, less than an absolute majority of six seats.
From Monday, Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou will give the three major parties, New Democracy, Syriza and the socialist party PASOK, three days each to form a coalition government.
If all parties fail in this task, the president will appoint a transitional government to lead the country until new elections are held in about a month.
Prime Minister and New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who has repeatedly said he wants a strong one-party government, said he believed he had a clear mandate.
“The election results are decisive. They show that New Democracy (the party) has the consent of the people to govern and that (the mandate to form a government) is strong and independent,” he told a crowd. enthusiastic outside the party headquarters in central Athens.
The result represents a boost for Mitsotakis, whose government has grappled with thorny issues such as wiretapping, the Covid-19 pandemic, the cost of living crisis and the deadly train crash in February. which angered the public.
By contrast, the result is a disaster for Syriza and its leader, Alexis Tsipras, who came to power in 2015 following voter dissatisfaction with other parties over their handling of the debt crisis that is ravaging the economy. Greek for more than a decade. .
Tsipras said he called Mitsotakis to congratulate him on his victory, but said the race was far from over.
And after Greece was on the verge of exiting the euro zone at the height of its debt crisis in 2015, Mitsotakis, elected in 2019, presented himself during his campaign as the perfect choice to exit the crisis, winning at the time with just under ten million votes.
Elections are held in Greece every four years for 300 parliamentary seats.
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