General Election May 6
On April 11, Prime Minister Lucas Papademos, called an early general election, set for May 6, 2012. The new Parliament to emerge from this election will convene for the first time on May 17. Thirty two parties, alliances and individual candidates are to take part in the forthcoming elections, according to the final list approved by the Supreme Court on April 26.
According to the Interior Ministry electoral register, 9,850,802 citizens (5,079,425 women and 4,771,377 men) have the right to vote, 110,530 of which are new voters.
All Greek citizens who are aged 18 years old or over on the date of the election are qualified to vote, provided they are on the electoral register and have the legal capacity to vote.
Members of Parliament (MPs) are elected by direct, universal and secret ballot. Voting is compulsory, although sanctions are no longer applied in case of abstention.
The elections will be conducted according to Electoral Law 3626/2008 which maintains the main features of the Greek proportional representation system but introduces a bonus of 50 parliamentary seats, allocated directly to the first party, as opposed to 40 seats foreseen by the previous Electoral Law 3231/2004. The Law stipulates a 3% threshold for parties to enter the Parliament. Blank and invalid ballots are not taken into consideration for seat allotment.
Electoral Process & Mandate
The electoral process is regulated by the Constitution of the Hellenic Republic, as well as relevant electoral legislation. The Hellenic Parliament is composed of a single chamber, with 300 members elected for a four-year term. 288 of the 300 deputies are elected from 56 constituencies, while the remaining 12 seats (State Deputies) are allocated on a top-down basis, according to the total share of the votes each party receives.
The leader of the party with the absolute majority of seats in Parliament is appointed Prime Minister. If no party has the absolute majority, the President of the Republic gives the leader of the relative majority party an exploratory mandate in order to ascertain the possibility of forming a government enjoying the confidence of the Parliament.
If this possibility cannot be ascertained, the President of the Republic gives the exploratory mandate to the leader of the second largest party in Parliament, and if this proves to be unsuccessful, to the leader of the third largest party in Parliament.
Each exploratory mandate is in force for three days. If all exploratory mandates prove to be unsuccessful, the President of the Republic summons all party leaders, and in case the impossibility to form a Cabinet that enjoys the confidence of the Parliament is confirmed, s/he forms a Cabinet for the purpose of holding parliamentary elections anew.
Zappeion Press Centre
A special Election Press Centre has been set up by the Secretariat General of Information & Communication-Secretariat General of Mass Media, at Zappeion Hall. The Press Centre will be open on May 4 (14:00 to 22:00 hrs), on May 5 (09:00 to 22:00 hrs) and May 6 (09:00 until the end of the working day). A special accreditation card is required to access the Press Centre. Last minute accreditation for media representatives is possible only by presenting ID card and Press card along with a letter signed by the director of the Media.
Election results will be uploaded as soon as they are processed on a dedicated website: Parliamentary Elections 2012 ; Interior Ministry: Previous election results (1996-2009)
Source: Greek NewsAgenda
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