Greek conservatives dominate second round of local elections

Kostas Bakoyannis

Kostas Bakoyannis the winner of the mayoral race in Athens speaks to supporters after his election victory in Athens on Sunday, June 2, 2019. Greeks voted Sunday to elect municipal and regional governments throughout the country.(AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

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ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Conservative-backed candidates have won 12 of 13 of Greece’s regions and captured the majority of Greece’s cities, confirming a trend seen in last week’s first round as well as the European Parliament election, which took place on the same day.

In Athens, Costas Bakoyannis, son of former conservative mayor Dora Bakoyannis and nephew of opposition leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis, has been elected with over 65% of the vote against a candidate backed by the ruling left-wing Syriza.

In the Attica region, where nearly 30% of Greece’s registered voters live, regional governor Rena Dourou, a prominent Syriza member, was trounced Sunday by conservative Giorgos Patoulis, who is getting around 66% of the vote with nearly all precincts reporting.

Although there were a few hiccups, such as the election in Thessaloniki, Greece’s second-largest city, of a dissident conservative over the official one, and a similar result in the North Aegean region, Mitsotakis’ New Democracy party confirmed its position as the top party and the favorite to win a snap national election on July 7.

Turnout was significantly lower than last Sunday. In regional elections, it dropped from 58% to 41% and in local ones from 59% to 44%.

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