Greek snap election: New Democracy concedes defeat to Tsipras’s leftist Syriza

© Paul Hanna
Greek left-wing party Syriza has secured 145 seats in the country’s 300-member parliament and is set to form a ruling coalition with Independent Greeks after winning 35.5 percent of the vote. The leader of New Democracy, Syriza’s main rival, has conceded defeat.

The electoral result appears to be concluding with Syriza and Mr Tspiras in the lead,” New Democracy leader Vangelis Meimarakis said. “I congratulate him and urge him to create the government which is needed and come to parliament.”

The conservatives themselves have secured 75 seats.

Syriza is still falling short of an outright majority, meaning it will need coalition partners to form a government. The party hopes to complete this task within three days.

Addressing cheering crowds in Athens, Tspiras said that “Greece and the Greek people are synonymous with resistance and dignity, and this struggle will be continued together for another four years.”

"We have difficulties ahead, but we are also on firm ground," he added. "We won’t recover from the struggle by magic, but it can happen with hard work."

Greece’s leftist Syriza party is most likely has turned to its former coalition partner – the right-wing Independent Greeks. The move will restore the state of affairs that brought Alexis Tsipras to power in the first place nine months ago.

Independent Greeks party responded on Sunday that they were ready to form a coalition government with election winners Syriza.

#Syriza victory party in #Athens.

A photo posted by Khashayar Joneidi (@khashi1353) on

“From tomorrow morning, with Alexis Tsipras as Prime Minister we will form a government,” Independent Greeks president Panos Kammenos told reporters.
With 3.6 percent of the vote Kammenos’ party secured 10 seats.

The bailout agreement reached by Tsipras and EU leaders will be implemented, the newly-elected party promised. However, “tough negotiations” on the subject will continue, party spokeswoman said, Reuters reported.

“This will be a four-year term government with a strong parliamentary majority, which will implement the program it promised,” the news agency cited Olga Gerovassili as saying.

“It will continue the tough negotiations with the lenders, realizing that this is the beginning of a battle,” she added.

“In Europe today, Greece and the Greek people are synonymous with resistance and dignity, and this struggle will be continued together for another four years,” Tsipras said to cheering crowds, standing in a central Athens square.

“We have difficulties ahead, but we are also on firm ground,” he added. “We won’t recover from the struggle by magic, but it can happen with hard work,” he added.
The Syriza’s closest pursuer New Democracy is standing at 28.12 percent so far.

The far-right Golden Dawn party, led by Nikolaos Michaloliakos, came in third with 7.09 percent and only 19 seats in Parliament. The party, labeled as “neo-Nazi” and “fascist” by the media, has attracted voters with its strong anti-refugee and anti-austerity stance.

The snap elections were triggered by the former Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras who resigned last month after he managed to reach an agreement with the EU and kept Greece in the eurozone, followed by a split within Syriza.