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Current Affairs

Culture > Current Affairs > MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS LOOM (1 September 2006)

Culture > Current Affairs

submitted by John Stathatos on 01.09.2006


Greek municipal elections are held regularly every four years, and the next are scheduled take place on October 15th. Under current legislation, electors choose between rival slates of candidates for the posts of mayor and municipal councillors, voting for the slate’s mayoral candidate plus two or more municipal councillors (depending on the size of the municipality); cross-voting is not permitted. Obviously, this is a system which gives mayoral candidates more influence and (once elected) power than most.

To win, a slate must get 42% of the vote; if no slate achieves this, a runoff is held one week later. At the time of writing, Kythera faces an embarrassment of riches, with up to four rival slates lining up, headed respectively by the incumbent mayor, the present deputy mayor, the present head of the opposition and a new player (Kytherian, but hitherto based in Athens). However, none of the four has formally registered with the electoral board yet (the deadline for registering is only three weeks before the elections), and it is almost certain that one or more will drop out before the race begins. The reason for this, political horse-trading apart, is that each slate must include not only candidates for the municipality of Kythera, but also for representatives from each of the thirteen old electoral districts (Potamos, Karavas, etc.); this means that a complete slate must include upwards of seventy names. Multiply this number by four, and you would end up with a sizable percentage of Kytherian voters actually on the ballot…

With the high summer tourist season unofficially over as of today, plotting is about to begin in earnest, and the political landscape should be a little less crowded (if probably no less murky) in a week or so.

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