Haris Doukas (in the middle) will be the new mayor of the Greek capital Athens, Source: Haris Doukas Facebook

Athens and Thessaloniki to get new mayors after local elections

Athens and Thessaloniki to get new mayors after local elections

The results from the two-round ballot process turned out to be a huge disappointment for the ruling conservative party

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitzotakis’ ruling party New Democracy (ND) suffered major defeats in the country’s local elections, which took place in two rounds on 8 and 15 October. In the run-off, yesterday, the party’s supported candidates lost in five out of six regions, plus Greece’s two largest cities – Athens and Thessaloniki.

The losses were described by media reports as surprising in some cases, given that in the first round, New Democracy had seemed to consolidate its rule in seven of the regions at least where the governors won decisively. In the case of Piraeus, the municipality that also serves as the capital's port, ND supported the incumbent Yannis Moralis, even though he was from the opposition.

Second round tally

But then, the cities and regions where the electoral battle tied into a knot and went for a run-off didn’t go the way the ND conservatives had hoped. In fact, PM Mitzotakis described it as “not a very good night” in his comment after the tallying of the ballots revealed the picture.

Especially bitter for ND is the loss of the country’s two largest cities and economic centres.

In the capital, Athens, the winner coming out on top was Haris Doukas, who defeated the incumbent Kostas Bakoyannis. This was an upset because Bakoyannis was actually the leading candidate after the results of the first round. The new mayor is supported by PASOK, the opposition socialist party. Voter turnout in the capital was quite low – 26.7% and this may have played a role in the final result.

In Thessaloniki, socialist Stelios Angeloudis, who was not his party’s official candidate, and thus ran as an independent, easily defeated incumbent Konstantinos Zervas, with 67% to 33%.

Likewise, in the Thessaly region, which was the most heavily affected by last month’s extensive floods the ND incumbent governor Kostas Agorastos lost to PASOK’s Dimitris Kouretas, 40% vs 60%, respectively.

The only positive news for ND on Sunday came from the southern Peloponnese region, where the party’s candidate Dimitris Ptochos won the race.



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