West News Wire: Kyriakos Mitsotakis, the center-right prime minister of Greece, announced on Tuesday that there would be a general election on May 21 as his party’s long-standing advantage in surveys had shrunk in the wake of the nation’s worst train accident.
57 people were killed on February 28 in northern Greece in a collision between a passenger railway and a freight train. According to polls, the disaster inflamed public anger and decreased support for the conservative New Democracy party by 0.5 points to 4 points over its major left-wing rival, Syriza.
“The nation and its people require clear air. During a live-streamed Cabinet meeting, Mitsotakis said, “Our job continues with greater audacity and fewer compromises.
The son of the late former prime minister Constantine Mitsotakis, Mitsotakis, 55, has maintained his popularity throughout his four-year tenure.
But more recently, his reputation has been dented by allegations of wiretapping by state security services, as well as the government’s failure to protect rail network safety.
The election he called is not considered early because it is within six months of the end of his mandate. Greece is moving to a proportional representation system that is likely to result in six parties with seats in parliament.
The recent slide in the polls for the prime minister’s party has made a coalition government more likely. But Mitsotakis insisted that New Democracy was seeking outright victory. “Greek men and women, in the elections of May 21, will finally have a choice on whether the country will continue to seek and win the challenge of modernization,” he said. The left-wing Syriza party said it would seek political partnerships but has ruled out forming a coalition with the conservatives.
“At Syriza, we will seek a government of cooperation, even if we have an outright victory. The country is facing huge challenges and needs the widest possible social consensus,” Alexis Charitsis, a spokesman for the opposition party, told private Antenna television.