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Tsipras, Syriza declare victory in Greece

September 20, 2015

Greece's leftist Syriza party has claimed its second national election victory in less than a year. The independent nationalist ANEL party has announced they will be junior coalition partners in the new government.

Alexis Tsipras
Image: Reuters/A. Konstantinidis

Official results late on Sunday showed that Greek left-wing leader Alexis Tsipras and his Syriza party were headed for a relatively comfortable victory in the country's general election, with around 35.54 percent of the vote after half the ballots had been counted.

"We have fought against much stronger powers and Syriza has proved that it is too tough to die, because it has deep connections with the people," Tsipras said in his victory speech.

Standing alongside Tsipras was Panos Kammenos, leader of the Independent Greeks party (ANEL), set to be the junior coalition partner as Syriza did not clear the 38 percent hurdle necessary for an automatic parliamentary majority. Syriza was projected to win 145 seats and ANEL to win 10 in the 300-seat parliament, slightly down from the 163 seats Syriza's broader coalition managed to secure at the last polls in January.

Projections showed that the conservative New Democracy party had managed to garner only 28 percent of the vote, causing leader Evangelos Meimarakis to concede defeat less than two hours after polls had closed. Far-right extremists Golden Dawn received 7 percent, a figure that's likely to boost their presence in parliament by two seats.

Turnout was estimated to be at around 55.8 percent of eligible voters, the lowest rate since 1950. This was a steep drop from January's polls, when 64 percent of those registered cast a ballot.

DW's Milan Gagnon was in Athens on Sunday and met up with voters who summarized the fatigue some Greeks have with the constant political turmoil, and the inability of any one party to provide concrete solutions to the debt crisis.

Sunday's election - the third national vote in 2015 after January's general election and July's bailout referendum - was prompted by Tsipras' resignation as prime minister in August. Tsipras hoped the snap polls would help shore up support for Syriza going into the implementation of new financial reforms demanded by Greece's creditors for the country's third bailout since 2012.

Tsipras originally campaigned in January against further austerity and rescue funds, but eventually capitulated in July after facing bank closures and an economic downward spiral.

Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem, head of the Eurogroup, Greece's largest creditor, congratulated Tsipras on his victory on Sunday, saying he was "ready to work closely with the Greek authorities and to continue accompanying Greece in its ambitious reform efforts."

es/cmk (AFP, Reuters, dpa)