Greece’s President Katerina Sakellaropoulou has issued the Presidential Decree officially announcing a second national election to be held on June 25.
As stated in the Decree, the exploratory mandates given to the leaders of the first, second and third parties in parliamentary power were rejected, with none of the leaders able to form a coalition government.
By the same Decree, voters are invited to elect deputies on June 25, 2023, and the Parliament that will result from the elections will convene on July 3, 2023.
Despite the landslide victory, Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis was still five seats short of being able to produce a single-party government in the 300-deputy parliament — and declined the option of forming a coalition.
His New Democracy party had its best result since 2007 with 40.8% of the vote.
Different electoral law for the new elections in Greece
Under a new electoral law that comes into play in the next ballot, the winner can obtain a bonus of up to 50 seats, facilitating the goal of securing a majority of at least 151 lawmakers.
The number of bonus seats is not fixed but depends on the first party’s final percentage of votes, using a sliding scale.
If, for example, the first party gets 25% the bonus is 20 seats, while the remaining 280 seats are distributed proportionally between the parties that made it into Parliament by reaching – or surpassing – the 3% threshold.
For every additional 0.5% thereof the bonus increases by one seat and the other parties’ seats are reduced accordingly.
Therefore, the absolute maximum of 50 bonus seats secures the first party with a percentage of approximately 40%, which is the percentage New Democracy received in the May 21 elections.
However, a single-party government depends not only on the first party’s percentage but is also affected by the percentage received cumulatively by the parties which do not reach (or surpass) the 3% threshold, namely those that will be left out of parliament: more parties left out means the maximum percentage required for a single-party government drops.
Experts who spoke to state-run news agency AMNA said that with a five-party parliament, an outright majority is secured with a percentage of around 37.5%, while a six-party parliament raises the bar to around 38.4%, and with a seven-party parliament it goes up to 39.3%.
Mitsotakis triumphs despite scandal and train crash
In power over the last four years, Mitsotakis steered the country through the pandemic which devastated its vital tourism industry.
The government initially blamed the accident — Greece’s worst-ever rail disaster — on human error, even though the country’s notoriously poor rail network has suffered from years of under-investment.
Nevertheless, neither the accident nor the scandal appears to have dented support for his conservatives — who scored a far bigger win than that predicted by opinion polls ahead of the vote.