Greece to hold general elections

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Sunday, October 4, 2009

Greece will vote in a general election this Sunday. The socialist opposition is ahead of the current conservative government in opinion polls.

According to opinion polls, the Papandreou Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) appears to hold a lead over the conservative New Democracy (ND), which has been in power for five and a half years.

Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis called in September for polls to be held early, due in part to a faltering economy and numerous scandals. The move was approved of by most Greeks, who say that a change of government could help boost the economy.

In the latest polls held in the run-up to the elections, the PASOK party has a lead of 6–7%, allowing them to possibly obtain a majority in the parliament, consisting of three hundred seats. Greece's election rules say that the winner of the elections needs at least 42.5% of the ballot to take an absolute majority. If neither side attains this percentage, another election will be held.

Polling stations are to be opened at 04.00 UTC, and close at 16.00. 9.8 million people are eligible to vote in the polls.