Greece polls: Tsipras wins again, quashes rebellion

RSTV Bureau
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Athens : Left-wing Syriza party leader Alexis Tsipras, left, and leader of the right-wing Independent Greeks party Panos Kammenos laugh at Syriza’s party’s main electoral center in Athens, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2015. Tsipras who won Greece’s parliamentary election for the second time this year on Sunday, says he will form a coalition government with the small right-wing Independent Greeks. Photo: PTI

Alexis Tsipras’ left-wing Syriza party has emerged a clear winner in the snap polls in Greece. Party supporters began celebrating in Athens early on Monday morning after sensing a comfortable win.

Syriza party is said to have won over 35 per cent of the votes, falling slightly short of a complete majority in the 300 member parliament. But Tsipras will be able to form a coalition government with ease.

Tsipras’ win has ensured that he has successfully managed to quell the rebellion within his own party on the issue of accepting a third international bailout. Tsipras’ win in Sunday’s poll is his second victory general election victory in less than nine months.

“With honesty and hard work, we’ll continue efforts on behalf of the working classes,” said Tsipras on twitter on being congratulated on his victory.

Panos Kammenos, head of the small right-wing Independent Greeks party who was Tsipras’ junior coalition partner in the short-lived seven-month government has said that he is again willing to join Tsipras’ coalition.

“I am in contact with Alexis Tsipras…our new effort begins tomorrow (Monday),” said Kammenos who was expected to win at least 10 seats.

Meanwhile, New Democracy party led by Vangelis Meimarakis has conceded defeat.

“The election result appears to be forming comprehensively with Syriza and Mr. Tsipras coming first…I congratulate him and call on him to form the government that is necessary, and bring the (proposal) to parliament,” said Meimarakis.

The new anti-bailout Popular Unity party, formed by rebel Syriza members who objected to Tsipras’ agreement to a third bailout for Greece and stringent austerity measures, appeared to have got less than 3 per cent of votes.

“We lost the battle, but not the war,” said Popular Unity head Panagiotis Lafazanis.

About 45 per cent of the voters abstained from voting for being election-weary. This was Greece’s third national vote this year.

Hundreds of jubilant Syriza party supporters gathered at the party headquarters in Athens waving flags and cheering for their leader.

(With inputs from PTI)