Greece elections: Centre-right regains power under Kyriakos Mitsotakis

Greece’s centre-right opposition party New Democracy has won the nation’s snap general election. With most districts counted, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras admitted defeat to his rival, Kyriakos Mitsotakis. New Democracy has 39.85% of the vote so far, with Mr Tsipras’s leftist Syriza party in second place with 31.53%. Current projections give New Democracy an outright majority, as the winner receives 50 extra seats in parliament. Turnout in the election was about 57% – one of the lowest figures in decades. There have been a half dozen elections in recent years and on Sunday, many residents flocked to the beaches or sheltered at home as temperatures exceeded 35C in places.

What did Mitsotakis say in his victory speech?

The prime minister-elect told supporters he had been given a strong mandate for change. “The country proudly raises its head again,” he told the crowd in the capital Athens, saying he would be a prime minister for all because Greeks were “too few to stay divided”.  Speaking as the results became clear, Mr Tsipras confirmed he had called Mr Mitsotakis to offer him his congratulations. “Today, with our head held high we accept the people’s verdict. To bring Greece to where it is today we had to take difficult decisions [with] a heavy political cost,” Mr Tsipras told journalists. Outgoing European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker congratulated Mr Mitsotakis on his “clear victory”.

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