Elections in Greece gives information on election and election results in Greece
Election of the legislature
The Greek Parliament (Vouli ton Ellinon) has 300 members, elected for a four-year term by a system of reinforced proportional representation in 48 multi-seat constituencies, 8 single-seat constituencies and a single nationwide list. 288 of the 300 seats are determined by constituecy voting, and voters may select the candidate or candidates of their choice by marking their name on the party ballot. The remaining 12 seats are filled from nationwide party lists on a top-down basis and based on the proportion of the total vote each party received.
Eligible for deputies are Greek citizens of 25 or over on the date of the election, who are eligible to vote
The electoral law
Under the current electoral law of "reinforced proportionallity", any single party must receive at least a 3% nationwide vote tally in order to elect Members of Parliament (the so-called "3% threshold"). The law in its current form favors the first past the post party to achieve an absolute (151 parliamentary seats) majority, provided it receives a 41%. This is touted to enhance governmental stability. The previous law (applied in the 2004 legislative elections) was even more favorable for the first party, since it needeed at least a roughly 1% tally advantage over the second one, in order to achieve an absolute (151 parliamentary seats) majority. The electoral law can be changed by simple parliamentary majority, but a law so changed only becomes enforced in the election following the upcoming one, unless a 2/3 parliamentary majority (200 or more votes) is achieved.
All Greek citizens who are 18 or over on the date of the election are eligible to vote, provided they are on the electoral register, unless:
they are imprisoned for a criminal offence and they have been expressly deprived of the right to vote with a judicial decision,
they are mentally incapable of making a reasoned judgement, according to a judicial decision.
The Constitution provides after the amendment of 2001 for the right of Greek citizens living abroad to vote for the legislative elections. Nevertheless, no law implementing the constitutional provision has yet been passed.
The election of the President
A head of state - the President of the Hellenic Republic - is elected by Parliament for a five-year term, and a maximum of two terms in office. Eligible for President is any person who:
has the Greek citizenship for at least 5 years,
has a father or a mother of Greek origin,
is 40 years old or over,
is eligible to vote.
When a presidential term expires, Parliament votes to elect the new President. In the first two votes, a 2/3 majority (200 votes) is necessary. The third and final vote requires a 3/5 (180 votes) majority. If the third vote is fruitless, Parliament is dissolved and elections are proclaimed by the outgoing President within the next 30 days. In the new Parliament, the election for President is repeated immediately with a 3/5 majority required for the initial vote, an absolute majority (151 votes) for the second one and a simple majority for the third and final one. The system is so designed as to promote consensus Presidential candidates among the main political parties.
Before 1910, Greek parties with the main traits attributed to them under the rules of the modern western democracy did not exist. The political formations of the 19th century lacked a steady organisational structure and a clear ideological orientation. Sometimes, they constituted just the ephemeral escort of a politician without coherence and steadiness with respect to their function.
According to the modern conception of parties, the first Greek parties with an ideologic background appear after 1910, when Eleftherios Venizelos dominates politics of Greece and founds his own party. The liberal wave of the Venizelism will result in the reaction by the opposite right-wing parataxis.
Hence, the two big ideological parataxis, the centrist and the right-wing will emerge and they will confront each other in the consecutive legislation elections for many decades. In 1974, the socialist movement sweeps the centrists and constitutes the new rival of the conservatives.
Nowadays, Greece has a two-party system, which means that there are two dominant Political parties, the conservative New Deocracy (ND) and the socialist PASOK, with extreme difficulty for anybody to achieve electoral success under the banner of any other party.
The left is mainly represented by The Greek Communist Party (KKE) and the Coalition of the Radical Left.
Main article: Greek legislative election, 2004
Summary of the 7 March 2004 Greek Parliament election results
Past legislative elections since 1910
European Parliament elections
Local elections since 1974
All the plebiscites conducted in Greece from 1920 since 1974 had to do with the head of state and whether he is going to be a King or a President.
The last plebiscite of 1974 is deemed final and conclusive with regards to the matter of the head of the Greek state and the choice of the constitutional model of the presidential parliamentary republc.
The current Constitution provides for two kinds of referendums:
a referendum concerning a "passed law"
a referendum concerning a matter of "national interest".
Nonetheless, these constitutional provisions have not yet been applied.
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