Tsipras returned to power with a clear election win!
Despite seven months of turbulence resulting in capital controls and signing the harshest bailout terms every signed by a Greek leader, voters chose to cast their ballots for the Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA). Alexis Tsipras was third time lucky after his January 25 victory, and the ‘no’ vote that he championed in the July referendum. Tsipras was still the people’s choice after a summer of hobnobbing with society’s wealthy in a home owned by a family named in the Lagarde list and a scandalous contract signed by his mentor, Alekos Flambouraris, that commissioned a public works contract to his own company.
Abstention figures hit a record high
Almost half of Greek voters who were eligible to vote decided not to go to the polls on Sunday. 43.55% abstained due to (a) feeling disillusioned now that the third bailout of harsh austerity measures has been signed and delivered by the very party that promised to tear it up; (b) weary voters were tired of heading to the polls so soon after the January 25 elections and referendum on July 5; (c) the sunny weather meant that a number of Greeks may have taken holiday leave.
Golden Dawn came third!
Greece’s fascist party came third despite the legal courtcase involving the role that the organization played in the murder of anti-fascist rapper Pavlos Fyssas. The party swept to power despite GD leader Nikos Michaliolakos conceding political responsibility for the murder of the popular rapper.
The Popular Unity party was not popular enough
The Popular Unity party comprised of SYRIZA dissidents from the Left Platform formulated as a makeshift party in August, hoping to gather the votes of angry citizens who felt betrayed by PM Alexis Tsipras’ backtracking on pre-electoral promises. Unable to reach the 3% threshhold, the party was unable to gather the electoral threshold required for representation in Parliament, nor was their split able to deprive SYRIZA of a win!
Former PASOK environment minister Kostas Laliotis – the man confronted by the European Commission for misapppropriateion of EU funds destined for the land register – appeared on socialist PASOK ballot paper. Despite this, Greek voters proved that they have short memories and helped PASOK bump up its seats to 17 from the 13 seats it gained in January.
To Potami… a real loser!
Centrist To Potami (River) party lost 6-7 of the 17 seats it received in January.
Vassilis Leventis finally makes his way to Parliament
Vassilis Leventis, head of the Union of Centrists, has had marginal influence in mainstream politics until now. His views are based on policies opposed to corruption, hostile to the concentration of power by a few individuals and in favor of weaker classes. He has always asserted that Greek politicians are in league with big business interests and has been critical of Greek political parties and their leaders. Despite his “rational” viewpoints, he has always been considered an eccentric figure due to his low-budget TV monologues on small channels and his “prophecies”. His popularity rose after a number of these prophicies turned out to be true.