It was a smooth process for Greeks in Australia who took to the ballots on Saturday to vote during the second round of Greece’s 2023 national elections, albeit with limited participation.
Election centres were set up at Greek consular services in Melbourne and Sydney, which surpassed the required minimum 40 voters registered for a centre to be able to operate.
And despite the limited turnout, some voters took to extremes to exercise their voting rights, including an individual hailing from Chalkida, Evia, Ioannis Brionas, who made it all the way from New Zealand’s Auckland to Melbourne in order to cast his vote.
Party representatives who had a strong presence outside Melbourne’s Consulate General premises ascribed to the New Democracy (ND) and Communist Party of Greece (KKE), while turnout from SYRIZA and other parties was limited or non-existent.
A total of 25,610 Greeks abroad had registered to vote from their place of residence on Saturday with only 18,203 actually voting (79.5% rate of participation).
And anecdotal evidence suggests that strict voting eligibility conditions had an immediate impact on eliminating participation in the democratic process.
Melbourne is a case in point, given the number of 93 registered voters being at odds with the presence of over 173,000 residents of Greek heritage, as per the most recent censusThe same applies for Sydney, with a total of just 65 registrations.
Polls suggest Mitsotakis’s New Democracy party will take between 40 and 45 percent of the vote.
In case a government cannot be formed after Sunday, Mitsotakis has warned – and attracted criticism for this – that a third election would take place in August, at the height of Greece’s tourist season.
Read more here.