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Citizens in Greece Vote in Local Elections

Greek election ballots
Citizens are voting in local elections in Greece on Sunday. Credit: Public domain

Citizens in Greece are voting on Sunday October 8 in local elections across the country. The ballots will be open from 7 am to 7 pm.

The electoral body consists of 9,775,181 Greek citizens, among which 465,218 young citizens vote for the first time in local elections, and another 17,957 European citizens residing in Greece.

The participation rate was calculated at 14.5 percent before midi, Internal Affairs Deputy Minister Theodoros Livanios said.

1,047,027 voters had exercised their right to vote by 11.30 a.m., according to the Minister’s statement.

Local elections in Greece will provide crucial political conclusions

The local elections campaign has been shadowed by the recent natural disasters that hit the country -devastating wildfires in August and unprecedented floods in September- few months after the New Democracy party secured its second run as government.

“Today is a great celebration of the local administration. We are voting for a better everyday life, for better welfare and health services,” Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis stated after exercising his right to vote at the First High School of Kifissia.

As reported by AMNA, Mitsotakis admitted that the New Democracy party has not hidden the political slant it has given to the electoral contest that is underway, especially at a regional level, observing that “we want the election of people who embrace our vision for development.”

The Prime Minister said that his government has supported local authorities with many new tools, as well as measures to enhance transparency, and concluded by saying that “tonight we will carry out a political assessment of the elections.”

In a similar tone, State Minister Makis Voridis told public broadcaster ERT that initial political conclusions will arise from the result of the first round of the local elections, but a complete picture will only emerge after the results of the second round are known.

The results of the elections will also show whether the change in the leadership of main opposition party SYRIZA has brought changes in the balance of political powers in Greece.

Arrests for bribing of voters in local elections in Greece

In related news, three people were arrested on Saturday in an area of Karditsa, in the flood-affected area of Thessaly, central Greece, on charges of bribing voters.

Another four individuals were also being sought on the same charge or as go-betweens, the General Regional Police Directorate of Thessaly said.

The complaint that the police was acting on accused the three arrested with purchasing 500 identity cards for 50 euros each. According to the same announcement,  a search in houses revealed hand-written notes and 25,950 euros in cash.

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