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Greece eyes new vote as PM seeks absolute majority

Party won elections that failed to produce a single-party govt

22 May, 13:44
(ANSA-AFP) - ATHENS, MAY 22 - Greece's Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said Monday he was seeking a new vote as soon as on June 25 in order to obtain a ruling majority, a day after his party won national elections that failed to produce a single-party government. The conservative New Democracy party of Mitsotakis trounced its rivals in Sunday's vote, with a 20-point lead over its nearest contender -- Syriza, led by leftist Alexis Tsipras. Voters handed the conservatives their best result since 2007, crediting the party with bringing economic stability back to a nation once known as an EU laggard. "Shock and awe", headlined left-wing daily Efsyn on Monday, summing up the feeling shared by both New Democracy and Syriza voters, while pro-government Proto Thema noted that the double-digit margin was the widest seen since 1974. The "political earthquake" hailed by Mitsotakis sent the Athens stock market to its highest in almost a decade. But the win fell five seats short of an outright majority, leaving Mitsotakis with the option of either seeking a coalition or calling a new vote. The 55-year-old Harvard graduate on Monday declined power sharing, telling President Katerina Sakallaropoulou, who handed him the mandate to form a government, that it was not possible to form a coalition under the current parliamentary line-up. Greece should head for new elections "as soon as possible," he said.


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