Greece to hold elections in spring, Mitsotakis says – POLITICO


ATHENS — Greece will hold parliamentary elections in the spring, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Sunday, specifying “from April onwards” ahead of the conservative government’s term ending in July.

The next Greek elections will be held under a proportional representation system, which makes it almost impossible for any candidate to win outright; and a second round of voting is taken for granted — indicating an extended period of political uncertainty.

Mitsotakis said that he hasn’t made up his mind whether the elections would take place in April or May. “From April and onwards, the elections can be held at any time,” he told local newspaper Proto Thema in an interview published on Sunday.

Turkey’s presidential and parliamentary elections are scheduled for June 18, but the government in Ankara is considering holding them earlier. “Since this date corresponds with summer holiday season when people are travelling, we are evaluating bringing the date slightly forward,” ruling AK Party spokesperson Omer Celik said earlier this month. The possible earlier election dates circulating in the Turkish press are April 30, May 7 and May 14.

Ankara has stepped up its rhetoric against Greece in recent months, with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan even warning in December that a missile could hit the Greek capital unless “you stay calm.” Increased pre-electoral tensions are possible in the region as the two elections more or less coincide.

On Saturday during a tour in the northern Evros region, near the land border with Turkey, the Greek prime minister said that “elections will be held in the spring, essentially at a point when we will have practically exhausted our four-year term.” He added that he would run as a candidate in Evros for symbolic reasons.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken will likely visit Greece, Turkey and Israel late next month, ahead of the elections in the region, according to Greek media reports.

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