PASOK on top in local government elections
Greece's ruling PASOK party won the majority of regional run-off elections on Sunday but turnout was a record low across the country.
The second round of elections, which also heralded the introduction of a new streamlined system of local and regional government, saw PASOK win eight regions while the main opposition New Democracy (ND) party won the remaining five.
PASOK won the regions of Eastern Macedonia-Thrace, Attica, Northern Aegean, Western Greece, Crete, Southern Aegean, Peloponnese and Sterea Ellada while ND triumphed in the regions of Western Macedonia, Epirus, Thessaly, Ionian Islands and Central Macedonia.
The second round of elections saw Athens and Thessaloniki elect Socialist mayors after years of being New Democracy strongholds.
Yiorgos Kaminis, who was backed by ruling Pasok and part of the Left, will be the new mayor of Athens, with 52% of the vote.
Nikitas Kaklamanis, the outgoing mayor, backed by main opposition New Democracy (ND) accepted the result gracefully and offered to assist Kaminis whenever the need arises.
Things were not so clear cut in Thessaloniki, where, with all votes counted, Pasok-backed Yiannis Boutaris (50.2%) defeated the ND candidate Constantinos Gioulekas (49.8%) by just 419 votes. Gioulekas has already asked for a recount.
In Piraeus Vassilis Mihaloliakos (ND) will be the new mayor with 51.83% of the vote, defeating Yiannis Mihas (Pasok) by over three percentage points.
In Patras, independent candidate Yiannis Dimaras established his victory with 53.63% of the total vote.
As regards the number of municipalities won by each party, PASOK won 73 municipalities, 49 municipalities by itself and the rest in cooperation with the Ecologists and the Democratic Left.
Main opposition party New Democracy won 41 municipalities, the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) one (Petroupoli), and the Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) also one in cooperation with the Ecologists and six in conjunction with the Democratic Left.
The Ecologists Greens won one municipality in cooperation with SYRIZA, three with PASOK, two with the Democratic Left and eight in cooperation with PASOK and the Democratic Left.
Lastly, the Democratic Left won six municipalities by itself, two with the Ecologists, six with SYRIZA, eight with PASOK and the Ecologists and 14 with PASOK.
However the results have been skewed by 54% abstention, the highest ever recorded in Greece.
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