Greeks cast their votes in elections in which 36 parties compete

Greeks will cast their ballots on Sunday in a general election unlikely to produce an outright winner, with a second round expected by July if the country’s divided political parties cannot agree on a coalition.

About 10 million Greek voters are going to cast their votes in legislative elections to renew the 300 parliament representatives.

And while hesitation clouded the opinions of Greek voters until the last day of the campaign, about half a million young people vote for the first time, which makes predicting the outcome difficult, especially since the voting age has become 17 years since the 2016 amendments to the law.

About 36 parties are competing for seats in parliament, led by the ruling conservative right, which opinion polls say is the favorite to stay in power and form a new government.

The elections will be held under the proportional voting system, and although opinion polls put the ruling New Democracy Party of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis ahead, it is not likely to get an absolute majority.

Opinion polls indicate that the New Democracy Party will get between 31% and 38%, followed by the left-wing opposition party Syriza.

Pollsters say any party would need more than 45 percent to win outright.

And in the event that no party wins, Greek President Katrina Sakellaropoulou will give the three major parties a 3-day mandate for each party to form a government, and if those parties fail to reach an agreement, the president will appoint a transitional government that will lead the country to new elections after about a month.

The cost-of-living crisis is at the center of the campaign, as parties try to entice voters with pledges to raise the minimum wage and create jobs.

The price hikes had a major impact on Greeks, whose living standards fell during the decade-long debt crisis.

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