Οutstanding issues put the brakes on immediate Greek election scenarios
Rumors of recourse to the polls before spring have been rife in recent days. But there are several “thorns” that prevent them from becoming a reality
The government and New Democracy party machines are emphatically upping the ante and, amid incessant election-time scripting, the blue camp is attempting the maximum possible mobilization of forces.
Even if Kyriakos Mitsotakis with his latest positions (within and outside Greece) insists on holding elections at the “end of the four year” term, arguing that even he has not yet decided the exact time, a purely electoral rhythm is being established within the government and opposition , sparking speculation of a very quick recourse to elections with winter ballots.
Anyway, the weight of the PM’s office and the party headquarters falls for the moment both on achieving a strong rally and on resolving outstanding issues, given that for the prime minister we are “entering the final stretch”. However, especially four of the… pending issues seem to define the electoral horizon to a certain extent, effectively weakening the scenarios for polls before the spring.
At a preliminary level the lists of blue candidates may be considered complete, in the sense that folders with names and CVs are in the hands of the staff team running the “ballots” project.
For months now, party secretary Pavlos Marinakis, the close associate of Kyriakos Mitsotakis and an expert on the voter geography of the ND Thanasis Nezis, together with the deputy minister to the prime minister, Yiannis Bratakos, have been meeting people for preparatory discussions.
At the level of final decisions by Mitsotakis, however, the overall crossword puzzle of the ballots remains… unsolved, no matter how mature the preparation is. As party sources put it, “it’s one thing to tell someone the first ‘go ahead’ and another to get the green light from headquarters”. It is clear that since the ballots have not been locked, the new “arrivals” are not proceeding with an organized election campaign, which will require, among other things, time to pay off.
As newspaper “Ta Nea” have published, what is sought is to enrich the ballot persons who will carry over “personal” votes, already having an imprint on society or on the market. That’s why, persons from local administratione as well as (elected or not) persons from chambers are nominated, while openings toward the Center and the new generation are also sought.
“Let’s wait… The new population data have to be taken into account” say government sources regarding the redistribution of seats based on the final divs of the latest census. Hellenic Statistical Authority-ELSTAT is going to announce on December 30 the data on the “legal” population of the country, which will essentially show who votes where.
The relevant Ministry of the Interior is on hand to quickly assess the new data, as a presidential decree will have to follow, determining the new seats by February 21, 2023 at the latest – one year after the end of the census.
The issue has caused a disturbance to current MPs – especially from the countryside -, as they all try to estimate seat movements, even with the divs of the “permanent population”, hoping that their own District will be among seat winners.
Reinforcement is expected in Eastern Attica, which arouses the interest of the candidates, in the electoral districts of the former Athens B (north, south, west sectors), in A and B Thessaloniki districts, while the “losers” are likely to include A Athens, A’ Piraeus, and some that today are afforded two seats will drop to one representative, such as Thesprotia and Kastoria etc.
Touring the country
After the pre-election rehearsal in Patras last week and the prime minister’s aside from Kallithea that “it smells like elections, and justifiably because we are in the final stretch”, tous by blue contenders come to the fore. And with “renewed” content, as press conferences will be continuously scheduled in the local Media along the TIF model lines.
“It is definitely a good thing to listen to what society has to say,” according to Kyriakos Mitsotakis. It is clearly also a tool for exaggerating the government’s actions, for mobilizing the local party apparatus and for formulating electoral dilemmas.
The plan of the prime ministerial tours, according to the information, extends over time already reaching next January. To be precise, Kyriakos Mitsotakis definitely wants another visit outside of Attica along the Patras-Achaia model by Christmas, while the goal is to have covered the mainland by the time the polls arrive.