Several candidates supported by Greece’s Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis lost runoff votes in five out of the country’s 13 regions and in the two biggest municipalities.
(Bloomberg) — Several candidates supported by Greece’s Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis lost runoff votes in five out of the country’s 13 regions and in the two biggest municipalities.
Mitsotakis’ picks were elected in seven regions on Oct. 8 during the first round of voting, but managed to win only one other region during the run-off ballot on Sunday. In Thessaly, which was hit hard twice in September by storms, the regional governor — who was backed by Mitsotakis — lost to a candidate supported by the opposition. In the other four regions, winners came from Mitsotakis’ New Democracy party, even if they weren’t officially backed by the premier.
“It was not a particularly good night for New Democracy,” Mitsotakis said Sunday night. The government has to get the political message, he said, adding that just three months ago his party scored a clear win in national elections.
Greece also held its run-off for municipal elections on Sunday. Mitsotakis had openly supported candidates in the two biggest cities and neither was reelected. The current mayor of Athens and the premier’s nephew, Kostas Bakoyannis, lost to a candidate supported by the opposition.
The participation rate on Sunday’s vote was lower than a week ago and the lowest since data was made available. The rate dropped to around 35% from 53% a week ago in regional elections. In Athens municipality, the percentage was just under 27%.
The new regional and municipal leaders will be called on to handle some €8 billion ($8.4 billion) in European Union funds in the coming years and cooperation with Mitsotakis’ administration will be crucial. That’s why the premier had asked people to support all his candidates. In 2019, just before he took office for the first time, Mitsotakis won all but one of the country’s regions.
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