Balkans | Greece heads to the polls on May 21 with a new electoral system

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Balkans |  Greece heads to the polls on May 21 with a new electoral system

The system, which will be used for the first time in Greece this year in the general elections on May 21, eliminates the application of the “bonus” of fifty deputies for the first party, and envisages going to the polls again if a government cannot be formed.

There are 300 seats in the Hellenic Parliament.

Political parties, coalitions and independent candidates can participate in general elections.

Voters will also choose from among the parliamentary candidates on the list.

Voters will be able to choose not only between parties on the ballot papers, but also between parliamentary candidates on their preferred party list.

Therefore, first of all, the number of deputies a party will get from a particular district will depend on the total number of votes the party gets from the district. The party’s candidates in that district are then ranked according to the number of votes they receive. The priority of being an MP is determined by the number of votes obtained.

Deputy “grant” application

In the electoral system applied in previous years, 50 deputies were given a “bonus” to the first party in the general elections on the basis of avoiding coalition governments and strong power, but in the new system, this practice was abolished the first time. to the polls.

While the party that wins 151 seats in parliament will rule alone, if no party can reach that number, the president will appoint the leader of the party that gets the most votes to form the government.

If the government cannot be formed, the president will assign the task to the leaders of the second and third parties receiving the most votes, respectively. Each of the leaders will have three days to form a government.

If the government cannot be formed at this point, the President will bring together all the leaders of the political parties. If this process is also unsuccessful, then the electors will go to the polls again with a provisional government, which will be formed with the participation of all parties.

“Repeat” selections

In this so-called “rerun” election instead of a second round, all party and independent candidates will again take their places on the ballot, regardless of the percentage of votes they received in the first election.

If the election is “rerun”, the “bonus” Parliament seat applies. Accordingly, an additional 20 deputies will be awarded to the first party, provided that the voting rate is 25 percent or more.

For every 0.5 percent increase over 25 percent, another parliamentary seat is envisaged. The first party will be able to obtain a maximum of 50 additional deputies within this framework.

election threshold

Parties and independent candidates participating in general elections are required to pass the 3 percent threshold applicable across the country in order to enter Parliament.

The fact that this electoral threshold is valid not only for parties and coalitions, but also for all independent candidates practically prevents independent candidates from entering parliament.

parties participating in the elections

Those who will participate in the general elections on May 21 in Greece have been determined by a decision of the Hellenic Supreme Court (Arios Pagos) on May 2.

With the Supreme Court’s approval of 36 out of 50 applications to participate in the general elections on May 21, 27 political parties, 8 coalitions and 1 independent candidate were allowed to participate in the elections.


The ruling New Democracy appears first in surveys conducted by research firms, followed by the Alliance of the Radical Left (SYRIZA). The third party most supported by voters appears to be PASOK.


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