Greece's Tsipras voted to power for third time in a year

21 Sep 2015


Greece's Left-wing Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is set to return to power after securing a near majority in the country's third general elections this year, giving him another chance to fight for his country's pride.

Prime Minister Alexis TsiprasWith 66 per cent of the vote counted, Tsipras's  Syriza party secured 35.4 per cent of the vote and 145 seats in the 300-member parliament, followed by the conservative New Democracy with 28.3 per cent and the Nazi-inspired Golden Dawn in third place with 7 per cent.

Syriza is expected to ride back to power with support from Independent Greeks, the small right-wing party whose alliance first brought Tsipras to power nine months ago.

The win shows the confidence of the Greek voters in Tsipras is unshaken despite his high-risk gamble of compromising on European demands for a bailout he once opposed and resigning as prime minister last month, triggering an early election, seven months after he took over as prime minister of the country.

Syriza also faced internal rebellion over his policy U-turn to accept painful austerity measures in return for Greece's third international bailout.

The election, however, saw 45 per cent of voters abstain from voting.

"The electoral result appears to be concluding with Syriza and Mr Tspiras in the lead. I congratulate him and urge him to create the government which is needed," New Democracy's leader Vangelis Meimarakiis said.

Tsipras had fought hard for Greece to be let off harsh austerity rules imposed by international creditors, only to back down last month after Greece's banks were shut and the country was pushed to the wall.

More than two dozen of his party members in parliament abandoned him, many saying he had betrayed his principles.

However, major parties such as the Golden Dawn and the communist KKE party, in the new parliament have accepted the cash-for-reforms deal to keep Greece in the euro zone.

Tsipras expects to form a government within three days, another party source said.

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