Tsipras asks for an­swers on Euro­pean elec­tions

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras asked the gov­ern­ment yes­ter­day to clar­ify whether it is plan­ning to hold Euro­pean Par­lia­ment elec­tions on May 18, when the first round of lo­cal polls will take place, or on May 25, when the sec­ond round of vot­ing in mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties and re­gions is due.

The gov­ern­ment re­cently sug­gested that it would choose the sec­ond op­tion, which SYRIZA be­lieves would be in con­tra­ven­tion of the law and would add about 50 mil­lion eu­ros to the cost of hold­ing the polls in May. Sub­mit­ting a ques­tion to Par­lia­ment, Tsipras la­beled such plans “anti-demo­cratic.”

The law stip­u­lates that lo­cal of­fi­cials should be elected on the same day that Euro­pean elec­tions are held. Tsipras ar­gued that this means the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment vote must take place on May 18 as lo­cal elec­tions since 2002 show that about 60 per­cent of can­di­dates are elected in the first round of polling.

He added that hold­ing the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment elec­tions on the sec­ond Sun­day would mean bal­lot boxes be­ing set up at ev­ery polling sta­tion in Greece twice in a week, which would dou­ble the cost of the elec­tions.

SYRIZA has sug­gested the gov­ern­ment wants to hold the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment elec­tions on May 25 as the turnout will be lower then, pos­si­bly dam­ag­ing the left­ist party’s hopes and help­ing the coali­tion.

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