Greece’s new parliament sworn in following conservative party’s election victory

Greece’s New Parliament Sworn In Following Conservative Party’s Election Victory
Greek politicians take the oath during the swearing-in ceremony of the new parliament, © Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved
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By Elena Becatoros, Associated Press

Greece’s new MPs were sworn in on Monday, just over a week after a general election which saw a number of smaller fringe parties from both the right and left of the political spectrum enter Parliament for the first time.

The 300 members of parliament were inducted during a religious ceremony after the June 25 polls returned conservative Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis to power for a second four-year term in a landslide victory, crushing the left-wing opposition Syriza party and prompting opposition leader Alexis Tsipras to announce his resignation.


Mr Mitsotakis’s New Democracy party now holds a comfortable parliamentary majority, with 158 seats compared with Syriza’s 48.

Greece Politics
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis was elected to a second four-year term in a landslide victory (Thanassis Stavrakis/AP)

Three far-right parties and one representing the far left reached the 3% minimum threshold for parliamentary seats. Only one of them has been in Parliament before.


On the right of the political spectrum, two newly-appearing parties are the Spartans and the ultra-religious Niki party.

The Spartans, who won a 4.7% share of the vote and hold 12 parliamentary seats, are led by Vassilis Stigas and backed by jailed Ilias Kasidiaris, a former prominent member of the now-outlawed Golden Dawn party which had neo-Nazi origins and connections to multiple violent attacks targeting migrants and left-wing political activists.

Tougher regulations were introduced on election eligibility to block Mr Kasidiaris from running as a candidate from inside prison. A party he had founded from behind bars was disqualified, and he switched his support to the Spartans.

Greece Politics
Greek politicians take the oath during a swearing-in ceremony at the parliament in Athens (Thanassis Stavrakis/AP)


Niki, or Victory, with just under 3.7% of the vote, holds 10 seats and is led by 58-year-old primary school teacher and theologian Dimitrios Natsios. It draws support from the fringes of the powerful Greek Orthodox church and gained a following over its opposition to the Covid-19 vaccination programme.

The third fringe right-wing party is Elliniki Lysi, or Greek Solution, which returned to Parliament with 4.4% of the vote and 12 seats.

It is led by Kyriakos Velopoulos, known for his Greek regional television station broadcasts focused on historical and religious themes and alternative therapies.


On the left, Plefsi Eleftherias, or Passage to Freedom, sailed into Parliament with just enough votes to meet the threshold – 3.17% – winning eight seats. It is led by Zoe Konstantopoulou, a former Syriza member who used to be the parliament speaker.

Known for her fondness for marathon parliamentary sessions when she was directing the debates, the 46-year-old lawyer announced on election night that although her party had won only eight seats, “I am worth 100, and the others are each worth another 20”.

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