Alexis Tsipras overcame fierce yet concentrated opposition from the Greek anti-austerity movement this Sunday as voters returned his far-left Syriza party to power.
With just 25% of the vote in, the election was called for Syriza, causing the right-wing New Democracy party to concede defeat, and thus the opportunity to seize coalition-based control of parliament. Syriza is expected to end the count with around 35% of the vote, which will translate to around 144 seats in parliament—just short of a true majority.
Tsipras is expected to form a government within three days, alongside leaders from the nationalist wing of Greek parliament.
More from the BBC:
Mr Tsipras said his decision to call an early election was vindicated and that he had been given a clear mandate.
He told thousands of jubilant supporters in central Athens: “In Europe today, Greece and the Greek people are synonymous with resistance and dignity, and this struggle will be continued together for another four years.
“We have difficulties ahead, but we are also on firm ground. We won’t recover from the struggle by magic, but it can happen with hard work.”
Mr Tsipras was joined on stage by Panos Kammenos, leader of the the nationalist Independent Greeks, who also entered a coalition with Syriza after the previous election in January.
“Together we will continue the struggle we began seven months ago,” Mr Tsipras said.
Tsipras resigned, and called for the election, late last month after his party colleagues in parliament rebelled against his acquiescence to an European Union plan to ease Greece’s debt crisis. He was elected prime minister back in January after campaigning on a platform that rejected implementation of austerity measures to bring the Greek economy back under control. EU leaders refused to play ball with the Greek far-left unless the government agreed to raise taxes and make major cuts to entitlement programs and pensions.
According to Reuters, Tsipras’ victory is much stronger than most pollsters had predicted.DONATE
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