Greek independent MP joins main opposition party, ruling Left lags in surveys

Source:Xinhua Published: 2017/1/25 10:11:13

Greek independent MP (member of the parliament) Iason Fotilas announced on Tuesday that he joins main opposition New Democracy (ND) party, boosting the conservatives' share of the 300-member strong assembly to 76 seats.

Fotilas was elected in the September 2015 elections with the centrist Potami (River) party and was expelled from its parliamentary group in October 2016 when he suggested cooperation with the conservatives.

Two weeks ago Potami lost one more deputy who joined the ranks of the center-Left Democratic Alignment which now shares with the ultra-Right Golden Dawn (Chryssi Avghi) party the third place in the Greek parliament (with 18 seats each).

The deputies' transfers came as two more surveys released this week verified the widening lead of the main opposition over the ruling Radical Left SYRIZA party due to voters' discontent with government policies, in particular regarding the economy.

On Wednesday SYRIZA marks two years since the Jan. 25, 2015, elections the Left party won for first time in Greek history pledging to put an end to austerity.

Two years later, nine in ten Greeks are unhappy with the course of the country according to a poll carried out by the University of Macedonia on behalf of Skai television.

Should national elections were held this January 30.5 percent of respondents would vote for ND versus 16.5 percent for SYRIZA.

A second poll conducted by ALCO polling firm for "Parapolitika" (Behind the scene) newspaper showed ND leading SYRIZA by a 9 point margin with 26.8 percent of votes to 17.8 percent. At the same pollster's previous survey in November 2016 ND's lead was estimated at about 6.4 percent.

According to both surveys, should elections were held this weekend, Golden Dawn would rank third garnering about 8 percent and the Democratic Alignment and the Communist Party would follow with 7 percent of votes.

The River party, the Union of Centrists and the right-wing co-ruling Independent Greeks party would fall short of the 3 percent threshold needed for entering the parliament.

Posted in: EUROPE

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