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Greece kicks off second round of municipal elections October 22, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Politics.

Greece kicked off the second and final round of Nationwide Municipal elections on Sunday, 22 October 2006.

The second round involves areas where no candidate won more than 42 percent of the vote last Sunday. Voters will choose Mayors in 247 towns and cities, and regional governors in seven prefectures.

The main battle is unfolding between the ruling New Democracy party and the main opposition Pasok socialists in Greece’s second largest city of Thessaloniki, where government-backed mayor Vassilis Papageorgopoulos is seeking re-election against socialist deputy Christina Arapoglou.

In the first round of voting last Sunday, conservative-backed candidates swept 28 of the 54 regional prefectures, while socialist-backed candidates won an outright majority in 19.

The municipal elections came ahead of parliamentary elections scheduled for 2008. The vote is seen as a test for Greece’s political parties.

UPDATE @ Sunday 22 October, 10:30 local Greek time > Exit polls on mayoral race in Thessaloniki, Patras

According to the first exit polls broadcast on national television on Sunday evening, Thessaloniki mayor Vassilis Papageorgopoulos, who is backed by the ruling New Democracy party (ND), appeared clearly set for re-election in Sunday’s run-off local government elections, with a proportion of 50.3-56.8 percent, against 43.2-46.2 percent for main opposition PASOK-backed candidate Chrysa Arapoglou.

In the western port city of Patras, PASOK former deputy minister Andreas Fouras also appeared poised to carry the run-off, with a 50.3-53.3 percentage, against 46.7-49.7 for the ND-backed Evangelos Floratos.

In the first round of voting last Sunday, Papageorgopoulos amassed 41.43 percent against 21.6 percent for Arapoglou, while Fouras received 34.70 percent against 34.06 percent for Floratos.

The polls closed at 7:00 p.m. Sunday in run-off local government elections in 7 prefectures and 247 municipalities throughout Greece.

Interior, Public Administration and Decentralisation Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos saidd on Sunday evening that the run-offs in the second round of the local government elections were “a complete success and ended at 7 .p.m. without any problerms.”

The interior minister stressed that “the electoral process for the 2006 prefectural and municipal elections was exemplarly of the quality of our democracy and the institution of local government, which is the great winner of this electoral process.”

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