Parliamentary Elections

Electoral system

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The 2009 elections once again saw a duel between the ND and the PASOK. The latter was again led by Mr. George Papandreou, whose father (Andreas) and grand-father (George) had also served as prime ministers. The Papandreou and Karamanlis families have been major players in the country's politics since democracy was established in Greece in 1955. Outgoing Prime Minister Karamanlis is the nephew of Mr. Konstantin Karamanlis, a former president who served between 1980 and 1995.

Prime Minister Karamanlis promised to reduce State spending by 30 per cent over the next two years. He pledged to freeze salaries, pensions and public-sector hiring in 2010 and accelerate privatizations. The PASOK, meanwhile, pledged to boost the economy by spending at least 5 per cent of GDP on public investment each year and increasing public sector salaries, unemployment benefits and retirement pensions. It pledged to renegotiate past privatizations and discontinue ongoing privatization plans. The PASOK also promised to reduce taxes for persons earning less than 30,000 euros per year while re-establishing wealth and inheritance taxes. Mr. Papandreou said that he would negotiate with the EU to extend the deadline for reducing the budget deficit by three years.

Although voting is compulsory, only 70.92 per cent of the 9.9 million registered voters turned out at the polls, down from 74.14 per cent in 2007. The final results gave a resounding victory to the PASOK, which took 160 seats. The ND followed with 91 seats, losing 61. The KKE, the La.OS and the Sy.Riz.A took 21, 15 and 13 seats respectively. Mr. Karamanlis announced that he would step down as the leader of the ND. On 5 October, President Papoulias invited Mr. Papandreou (PASOK) to form a new government. Mr. Papandreou's government was sworn in on 7 October.


Patrikios, S and Karyotis, G. 2008. The Greek parliamentary election of 2007. Electoral Studies, Volume 27(2): 356-359.

Mavrogordatos, G. 2008. Greece. European Journal of Political Research, Volume 47(7-8): 990-997.

Chryssogonos, Kostas. An introduction to Greek electoral law. Available at

Ministry of the Interior, Election results.

Inter-Parliamentary Union, PARLINE: database on national parliaments